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March 2, 2012

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California Man Convicted of Drug and Money Laundering Conspiracy

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Juan Carlos Alcala, 38, has entered a plea of guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and money laundering, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.

According to the record of the case, Alcala worked in a cocaine and money laundering conspiracy operating between Brownsville and Dallas, Texas, Atlanta, Ga., North Carolina, California and Mexico. Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Homeland Security Investigations initiated the investigation in 2009 with a significant seizure of cocaine at the Sarita Border Patrol Checkpoint. Since that time, the case has developed to include a distributor in Atlanta and in Brownsville. Alcala, based in Costa Mesa and Santa Ana, Calif., was responsible for organizing cocaine loads to North Carolina and U.S. currency loads to Brownsville.

Alcala was arrested on Dec. 9, 2011, when he crossed the United States/Mexico border into Southern California following the return of the indictment for the drug conspiracy. The indictment was later superseded to include the money laundering charge. Today, Alcala admitted between on or about March 15, 2002, and March 2, 2011, he participated in a cocaine-trafficking conspiracy and in an international money laundering conspiracy spanning from Raleigh-Durham, N.C, to the U.S./Mexico border in South Texas. 

Alcala has been and will remain in federal custody pending his sentencing hearing set for May 24, 2012, at 9:00 a.m. At that time, he faces up to life in prison and a maximum $8 million fine for the drug conspiracy conviction as well as up to 20 years imprisonment and a $500,000 fine for the money laundering charge.  

The investigation leading to the criminal charges was conducted by ICE-HSI, the United States Marshals Service, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations and Customs and Border Protection. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Julie K. Hampton.