Two Worcester County Men Sentenced for Trafficking Contraband Smokeless Tobacco To Evade Over $2 Million in Taxes
BOSTON – A Venezuelan man was sentenced yesterday for laundering drug trafficking proceeds from around the world.
Manuel Calderin Calderin, 40, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns to 27 months in prison and one year of supervised release. In October 2023, Calderin Calderin pleaded guilty to money laundering conspiracy and conducting substantive money laundering transactions.
According to court documents, beginning in 2016 and continuing until 2022, an undercover investigation began into a money laundering organization based primarily in Barranquilla, Colombia. An undercover investigator infiltrated the organization by portraying himself as an international money launderer who could pick up bulk cash throughout the world, launder the proceeds through United States-based accounts and send the money to Colombia through the Black Market Peso Exchange – a common method of trade based money laundering used to repatriate the proceeds of drug trafficking to Colombia.
Calderin Calderin was a business owner in Colombia who used his business bank account to receive drug proceeds in Colombia. During the course of the conspiracy, Calderin Calderin received over $300,000 in wire transfers to his account. After receipt, Calderin Calderin withdrew the funds from his account to pay out the money in Colombia to the owners. Calderin Calderin also created fake invoices to mask the true source of the funds and evade anti-money laundering protocols.
Acting United States Attorney Joshua R. Levy and Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney’s Jared C. Dolan and Alathea E. Porter of the Criminal Division prosecuted the case.
This effort 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 https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.