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Press Release

Man Extradited from Peru on International Money Laundering Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Belize City, Belize, man was extradited to the United States Tuesday on charges of laundering tens of millions of dollars of drug proceeds on behalf of notorious international drug trafficking organizations.

According to court documents, Jianxing Chen, 42, led and controlled a network of couriers who transported cash generated by the domestic sale of controlled substances. Some of the cash came from cocaine sales throughout the United States – including Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, as well as in the Eastern District of Virginia.  At Chen’s direction, couriers transported drug money across the country to locations in New York City. From there it was laundered through a variety of methods until it, or its equivalent value, was remitted to drug trafficking organizations in Latin America, including Mexico. Chen received “contracts” to transport and launder this money through Xizhi Li, who was also prosecuted and convicted based on the same superseding indictment.

Below is a table of defendants also named in the superseding indictment along with their sentences:




Xizhi Li

Counts 1-3 (drug trafficking and money laundering

Money laundering, 180 months

Jiayu Chen

Counts 1-3 (drug trafficking and money laundering

Money laundering, 60 months

Eric Yong Woo

Count 3 (money laundering)

Money laundering, 18 months

Jingyuan Li

Counts 1-3 (drug trafficking and money laundering)

Money laundering, 84 months

Tao Liu

Counts 1-14 (drug trafficking, money laundering, attempted identity fraud, bribery

Money laundering, bribery, 84 months


Chen was arrested in Lima, Peru, on June 14, 2021, based on the superseding indictment and held in that country until his extradition was approved and executed on February 21, 2023.

Chen is charged with conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, knowing and intending and having reasonable cause to believe it will be unlawfully imported into the United States, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. If convicted, Chen faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and up to life imprisonment. 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.

Jessica D. Aber, 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; J. Todd Scott, Special Agent in Charge for the DEA-Louisville; Frank. A. Tarentino III , Special Agent in Charge for the DEA-New York; Jessica Moore, Chief of the Criminal Investigations Division of the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS); and James M. Gibbons, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), made the announcement.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys David A. Peters and Michael P. Ben’Ary, along with Trial Attorneys Mary Daly, and Stephen A. Sola of the Justice Department’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section, are prosecuting the case.

Significant assistance was provided by law enforcement partners in Australia, Guatemala, Mexico, and New Zealand.

The case was investigated as part of two Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF), Operation Dark Castle and Operation Taishan Triangle. The OCDETF program is a federal multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task force that supplies supplemental federal funding to federal and state agencies involved in the identification, investigation, and prosecution of major drug trafficking organizations. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.

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. 1:19-cr-334.

An indictment is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Updated February 22, 2023

Drug Trafficking
Financial Fraud