Escondido Resident Pleads Guilty To Bulk Cash Smuggling
FRESNO, Calif. — Martin Rojas-Cuamba (Rojas), 46, of Escondido, pleaded guilty today to bulk cash smuggling in Tulare, Kern, and San Diego Counties, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to the plea agreement, Rojas smuggled $88,950 in cash from the United States to Mexico in order to evade the currency transaction reporting requirement. According to court documents, Rojas was connected to several marijuana cultivation operations on agricultural lands in Terra Bella and Bakersfield from which he profited. During a search of his residence in Escondido, law enforcement officers seized $53,750 in cash, which Rojas has agreed to forfeit.
Rojas is scheduled for sentencing on December 15, 2014, before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill. Rojas faces a maximum prison term of five years and a fine of up to $250,000. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Sheriff’s offices of Tulare, Kern, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo Counties, and the Escondido Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Karen Escobar is prosecuting the case.