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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Central District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 6, 2015

Owner Of Pico Rivera Nightclub Charged By Federal Grand Jury With Laundering Money For Mexican Drug Organization

LOS ANGELES – The owner of El Rodeo nightclub in Pico Rivera was named today in a federal grand jury indictment that charges him with using his bar and another one he controlled in Moreno Valley to launder drug proceeds on behalf of Mexican drug traffickers.

Edgar De Dios Fragoso, 38, of Hacienda Heights, was named today in an eight-count indictment that charges him with conspiracy to launder money and seven counts of money laundering.

Fragoso was arrested on a criminal complaint that charged him with money laundering on February 23, and he was subsequently freed on a $100,000 bond.

Today’s indictment alleges that Fragoso conspired to launder drug proceeds through the two El Rodeo locations for an unnamed trafficker who imported methamphetamine into the United States. According to court documents, the drug trafficker funneled the cash collected from methamphetamine sales to Fragoso, who  delivered the money to the drug organization under the guise that the payments were for business and financial services.

In addition to money laundering conspiracy, Fragoso is charged in seven substantive counts of money laundering for allegedly issuing more than $200,000 in checks to a fictitious drug trafficking organization. The bogus drug operation was set up by the Drug Enforcement Administration and IRS – Criminal Investigation in an undercover operation.

Fragoso is scheduled to be arraigned on March 13. If he is convicted, Fragoso would face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years for each of the eight charges in the indictment.

Release No. 15-024

Updated June 22, 2015