Colombian Man Sentenced To More Than 6 Years In Federal Prison For Conspiracy To Commit Money Laundering
Orlando, FL – U.S. District Judge Paul G. Byron sentenced Luis Alberto Marulanda-Cardona (55, Colombia) to 80 months in federal prison for conspiracy to commit money laundering. As part of his sentence, the court also entered a money judgment in the amount of $969,130 reflecting the proceeds of the charged criminal conduct. Marulanda pleaded guilty on April 7, 2014. He was sentenced on August 21, 2014.
According to court documents, beginning in February 2009, Marulanda had a contract with a Colombian drug trafficking organization, pursuant to which Marulanda’s associates picked up bulk cash in the amount of 100,000€ (Euros) per week in the Netherlands. Two months later, a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) confidential source met with Marulanda in Madrid, Spain. Marulanda advised the confidential source that two shipments of cocaine had been seized in Portugal, by Portuguese authorities, and that one of his main associates had been arrested. Marulanda stated that as a result of the seizure and arrests, his operations had been suspended in Spain and Portugal. DEA’s Madrid Country Office confirmed that Portuguese authorities had seized several shipments of cocaine, in the amounts and on the dates consistent with those mentioned by Marulanda. Marulanda then moved his operations to Italy. He told the confidential source that his organization sent cocaine to Rome every week aboard commercial planes and that he would return to Rome where he would pick up a large amount of currency. Marulanda requested that the confidential source meet him in Rome, at which time Marulanda would give the source 650,000€ to be laundered. As part of the conspiracy, Marulanda requested assistance to move the narcotics proceeds, in bulk, through New York City, Atlanta, and Orlando into Panama City, Panama and banks in Hong Kong. The total amount of funds that Marulanda attempted to launder is $2,973,285.
This case was investigated by the DEA’s Orlando District Office, with assistance from DEA’s Rome Country Office, Madrid Country Office, Lisbon Country Office, Bogota Country Office, Hong Kong Country Office and Panama Country Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Christopher LaForgia with assistance from Department of Justice Rome-Attachés William Nardini and Cristina Posa.