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Press Release

Mexican National Illegally Residing in Lexington Sentenced to 372 Months for Role in Money Laundering Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Kentucky
Defendant was the leader of a large drug trafficking and money laundering organization operating in Central Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. A Mexican national, illegally residing in Lexington, Luis Lara-Garcia, 25, was sentenced on Tuesday to 372 months in federal prison, by Chief U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves, for one count of conspiracy to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl and five kilograms of cocaine, one count of distribution of 400 grams or more of fentanyl and 500 grams or more of cocaine, one count of possession of firearm by an alien, one count of conspiracy to launder drug proceeds, and one count of illegal re-entry into the United States.

According to his plea agreement, Lara-Garcia admitted to knowingly and voluntarily participating in a conspiracy to distribute large quantities of fentanyl and cocaine in the Eastern District of Kentucky.  After the controlled substances were distributed, Lara-Garcia and other conspirators would collect the proceeds of the drug sales, count and package the money, and then conduct financial transactions with the money, by delivering the packages to couriers for the larger drug trafficking organization.  Lara-Garcia also admitted that he is an alien, a native and citizen of Mexico, and has no legal status in the United States.

During the investigation, DEA agents seized 7 kilograms of fentanyl, 2 kilograms of cocaine, 6 firearms and approximately $650,000 in cash drug proceeds.

In all, eleven defendants were charged in the drug or money laundering conspiracies.  Seven pled guilty, including Demarkus Nemetz, who was sentenced, in July 2023, to 294 months in prison.  Humberto Saucedo-Salgado, of Lexington, was sentenced to 97 months and Eduardo Hernandez Alfaro, also of Lexington, was sentenced to 78 months.  Three defendants proceeded to trial, in April 2023, and were found guilty of conspiracy to launder drug proceeds and promotional money laundering.  Tawsif Mohamed Tajwar was sentenced, in July 2023, to 90 months in prison.  Two remaining defendants, who were convicted at trial, are pending sentencing.

Under federal law, Lara-Garcia must serve 85 percent of his prison sentence.  Upon his release from prison, he will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for five years. Lara-Garcia was also ordered to pay a money judgement of $400,000 and to forfeit approximately $650,000 and four firearms.

Carlton S. Shier IV, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, and J. Todd Scott, Special Agent in Charge, DEA, Louisville Field Division, jointly announced the sentence.

The investigation was conducted by the DEA.  The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Bradbury.

This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach.  Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at



CONTACT:  Gabrielle Dudgeon

PHONE: (859) 685-4887


Updated August 17, 2023

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses