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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 29, 2020

Chinese National Guilty of Laundering Millions for Mexican Drug Cartels

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Chinese national pleaded guilty today to laundering more than $4 million in drug proceeds generated by large-scale cocaine trafficking in the United States.

According to court documents, Xueyong Wu, 40, cultivated relationships with Latin American drug trafficking organizations to transport and launder their United States-based drug proceeds. Much of this money was repatriated to Mexico through a complex series of international financial transactions. Wu received a percentage of the money involved in these transactions as compensation for organizing these laundering activities.  Much of this money was generated through movement of cocaine or payment for cocaine that took place within the Eastern District of Virginia.

Wu pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering, and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when sentenced on September 29. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Wendy C. Woolcock, Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Special Operations Division; Jeffrey T. Scott, Special Agent in Charge of DEA's Louisville, Kentucky Field Division; Jason Crosby, Chief of the Criminal Investigations Division of the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS); and James Gibbons, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Chicago, Illinois, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael P. Ben’Ary and David A. Peters, along with Trial Attorneys Steve Sola and Kerry Blackburn of the Justice Department Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:20-cr-15.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Financial Fraud
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Public Affairs joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated June 30, 2020