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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Louisiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 16, 2014

Operation Tango And Cash Recognized With National Award

BATON ROUGE, LA - United States Attorney Walt Green announced today that the Director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) for the U.S. Department of Justice recognized Operation Tango and Cash as the National 2014 Outstanding International Primary Money Laundering Investigation and the 2014 Special Investigation of the Year for the Southeast Region.

Operation Tango and Cash was an extensive effort to dismantle an international money laundering business in Baton Rouge that was being used to support drug traffickers in this country and overseas. The organization was infiltrated through the use of various sophisticated investigative techniques, including court-authorized wiretaps and undercover agents. The operation resulted in federal felony convictions against two corporations and three individuals for various money laundering and narcotics related offenses and the forfeiture of almost $1,000,000.

The matter was handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana, the Baton Rouge Office of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Baton Rouge Office of the Criminal Investigations Division of the Internal Revenue Service, along with the Baton Rouge and Gonzales Police Departments and the Sheriff’s Offices in East Baton Rouge Parish, West Baton Rouge Parish, and Ascension Parish.

Operation Tango and Cash was another effort by the OCDETF Program which was established in 1982 to mount a comprehensive attack against organized drug traffickers. Today, the OCDETF Program is the centerpiece of the United States Attorney General’s drug strategy to reduce the availability of drugs by disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations and money laundering organizations and related criminal enterprises. The OCDETF Program operates nationwide and combines the resources and unique expertise of numerous federal, state, and local agencies in a coordinated attack against major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations.

The OCDETF Director specifically recognized Assistant United States Attorneys Jennifer Kleinpeter and Jay Thompson; Special Agent Chris Abney of the Drug Enforcement Administration; and Supervisory Special Agent Ted Magee and Special Agent Andre Guilott of the Criminal Investigations Division of the Internal Revenue Service. Former Assistant United States Attorney Lane Ewing and support staff at all the agencies also provided invaluable assistance to the matter.

Updated December 15, 2014