Florida Man Pleads Guilty To Structuring More Than $2.5 Million In Proceeds Of Drug Trafficking
FRESNO, Calif. — Chad Allen Riffle, 22, of Citrus Springs, Florida, pleaded guilty today to one count of conspiring to structure cash transactions, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to the plea agreement and court documents, Riffle and seven co-defendants opened and maintained bank accounts for the purpose of funneling cash proceeds of drug trafficking from Florida and other states back to California. Riffle made the cash deposits in amounts of $10,000 or less to attempt to prevent Currency Transaction Reports from being filed by the banks on his cash deposits. Currency Transaction Reports are prepared by banks for any transaction involving more than $10,000 in cash. These reports are filed with the Department of Treasury and are made available to law enforcement.
Riffle also waived his interest in numerous assets seized by law enforcement, including a Land Rover, two Bentleys, two Mercedes Benzes, and a 30-foot motorboat.
This case is being brought as part of Operation Footprint, a nationwide law enforcement initiative led by the U.S. Attorney's Offices, the Internal Revenue Service- Criminal Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the United States Postal Inspection Service. Operation Footprint targets large drug trafficking organizations by identifying the transfer of drug proceeds through financial institutions, bulk cash smuggling and other forms of money transfers. Operation Footprint is focused on bringing criminal charges based on Bank Secrecy Act violations in addition to violations of the Controlled Substances Act and the Money Laundering Control Act.
This case is also the product of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a focused multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task force investigating and prosecuting the most significant drug trafficking organizations throughout the United States by leveraging the combined expertise of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Grant B. Rabenn, Patrick R. Delahunty, and Jeffrey Spivak are prosecuting the case.
Riffle is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill on March 9, 2015. The maximum statutory penalty for conspiracy to structure is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. 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.