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Press Release

Man Sentenced for Conspiring to Launder Drug Proceeds to Venezuela

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A Puerto Rico man was sentenced today to nine years and seven months in prison for laundering over $2.5 million in drug proceeds.

According to court documents, Osvaldo Villegas Rivera, 57, of Rio Piedras, conspired with others to transfer over $2.5 million in drug proceeds from Miami to Venezuela between 2017 and 2019. The proceeds consisted of five deliveries of bulk cash picked up in the New York and New Jersey area that Villegas knew to be traceable to the sale of cocaine. Villegas also employed a network of couriers to move the funds.

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Juan Antonio Gonzalez for the Southern District of Florida, and Special Agent in Charge Deanne L. Reuter of the DEA Miami Field Division made the announcement.

The DEA Miami Field Division investigated the case, with valuable assistance from the Fort Lauderdale Police Department.

Deputy Chief Joseph Palazzo of the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert J. Emery for the Southern District of Florida prosecuted the case.

Updated October 28, 2022

Press Release Number: 22-1171