Escondido Resident Sentenced For Bulk Cash Smuggling
FRESNO, Calif. — Martin Rojas-Cuamba (Rojas), 46, of Escondido, was sentenced today to 364 days in custody for smuggling cash proceeds from the cultivation of marijuana in Tulare, Kern, and San Diego Counties, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill also ordered the forfeiture of $53,750 in drug proceeds that was seized from Rojas’ residence.
According to court documents, Rojas intended to smuggle $88,950 in cash from the United States to Mexico to evade the currency transaction reporting requirement. Rojas was connected to several marijuana cultivation operations on agricultural lands in Terra Bella and Bakersfield. During a search of his residence, law enforcement officers seized $53,750 in cash. During a search of the cultivation operation in Terra Bella, law enforcement officers also seized records showing wire transfers of money to Mexico from Rojas’ address in Escondido.
This case was 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 Drug Enforcement Administration, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office, and the Escondido Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Karen Escobar prosecuted the case.