Georgia Man Charged With Conspiring To Launder Stolen Drug Proceeds
HARRISBURG - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that John Thomas Oiler, age 49, of Flowery Branch, Georgia, was charged in a criminal information on August 3, 2018, with conspiring to launder stolen drug proceeds.
According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, the criminal information alleges that Oiler was part of a conspiracy that stole more than $800,000 of cash drug proceeds before turning more than $1.7 million of cash drug proceeds over to law enforcement officers. It is alleged that Oiler rented a storage unit in Baltimore and travelled to Pennsylvania at the request of an unindicted coconspirator who had stolen more than $800,000 of cash drug proceeds from a coast-to-coast marijuana trafficking organization. Oiler allegedly took the vast majority of those proceeds and stored them in the rented unit in Baltimore. It is further alleged that Oiler then laundered those funds by conducting numerous financial transactions, including sending cash to the unindicted coconspirator and a now-retired agent of the PA Attorney General’s Office Bureau of Narcotics Investigations Mobile Street Crimes Unit. That agent, Timothy B. Riley, previously pled guilty to participating in the conspiracy and awaits sentencing. Oiler netted about $400,000 of the proceeds.
The investigation began after Riley was notified on June 24, 2015, by an unindicted coconspirator about a large amount of cash from a coast-to-coast marijuana trafficking organization. Riley and other members of the Mobile Street Crimes Unit met the unindicted coconspirator at a truck stop in Carlisle, Pennsylvania to seize cash out of the truck. The amount seized was $1,770,650. The unindicted coconspirator provided information about the marijuana trafficking organization for which he was transporting the cash. An investigation of that drug trafficking organization revealed the amount of cash in that shipment was $2,590,000, and an allegation was made that Agents had stolen more than $800,000 from the shipment when it was seized. To ensure a full investigation was undertaken, the PA Attorney General referred the matter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The FBI, joined by Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations, conducted a full investigation, revealing more than $800,000 was stolen by the driver of the truck who turned the rest of the money in, aided by Oiler. After the seizure, Timothy B. Riley received three cash payments from the driver, totaling $48,000. Riley then deposited and conducted other financial transactions with that money, knowing it was stolen proceeds of drug trafficking. Oiler conducted financial transactions with more than $240,000 of the proceeds.
The case was investigated by the Harrisburg Offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, with the full assistance of the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General. Assistant U.S. Attorney James T. Clancy is prosecuting the case.
Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.
A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
The maximum penalty under federal law for this offense is 20 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.
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