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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Mexican National Charged In Drug Conspiracy

PHILADELPHIA - Jorge Bautista-Banda, a/k/a “Cochito,” a/k/a Jorge Batista-Banda, 32, of Mexico, is charged in a two-count indictment with conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, and money laundering, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. 

According to the indictment, from July 2013 to April 23, 2014, Bautista-Banda was a member of a conspiracy that distributed more than 100 kilograms of cocaine, supplied by a Mexican-based cocaine distribution organization, which was sold and distributed in the Philadelphia area.  Bautista-Banda was arrested on April 23, 2014, in connection with an alleged attempt to make a structured cash deposit of $8,000 to a corporate bank account at a bank in Philadelphia.  The indictment further alleges that on April 23, 2014, following his arrival in Philadelphia from Texas, Bautista-Banda  received $100,000 cash which he was directed to launder through the use of structured cash deposits to “pass through” accounts designated by Mexican sources.  The indictment charges that after receiving the cash, Bautista-Banda proceeded to the Bank of America branch at 932 Walnut Street where he attempted to make a cash deposit of $8,000.  The indictment further alleges that Bautista-Banda was in possession of an additional $68,000 in United States currency that he had in his hotel room in Philadelphia.

On September 24, 2013, Bautista-Banda received a sum of $145,000 in cash representing proceeds of the operations of a Philadelphia-based cocaine trafficking conspiracy.  After receiving the cash, Bautista-Banda allegedly made multiple deposits, at various bank branches, in amounts less than $10,000, the purpose of which was to avoid the filing of currency transaction reports.

If convicted, Jorge Bautista-Banda faces a maximum penalty of life in prison, with a mandatory minimum of 10 years, at least five years supervised release, and a fine of $10.5 million.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joseph T. Labrum, III.

Click here to view the indictment

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Updated December 15, 2014