Men Sentenced in Multi-State Drug Trafficking and Money Laundering Operation
PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – Benjamin Guerrero-Lantz, 21, of Destin, was sentenced yesterday to 65 months in prison. In March, he pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana, as well as conspiracy to commit money laundering. Co-defendant Andres A. Barrios, 27, also of Destin, was sentenced on May 18, 2017, to 120 months in prison. In March, he pled guilty to both conspiracy charges and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The sentences were announced by Christopher P. Canova, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.
Barrios and Guerrero-Lantz were funneling proceeds of a California-based drug trafficking operation through at least eight bank accounts containing more than $350,000, and illicitly obtained dozens of $500 money orders and multiple vehicles under nominee names.
In July 2016, law enforcement officers searched Guerrero-Lantz’s condominium after receiving complaints about the smell of marijuana. They found $17,000 in cash, handwritten ledgers recording drug debts, marijuana, vacuum-sealed bags, money order receipts, and vehicle titles. Guerrero-Lantz’s vehicle contained additional money order receipts and a bank transaction receipt for $9,000.
In December 2016, Guerrero-Lantz and others were stopped in Jackson, Mississippi, with more than $10,000 in cash, bank deposit slips, money orders, and cellular telephones. Law enforcement searched a Destin residence where they found Barrios. Inside, they found 13 one-pound bags of marijuana, more than $10,000 in cash, and other evidence of the drug trafficking conspiracy. Barrios also possessed a firearm and body armor.
This case resulted from an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Pensacola Police Department; and the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney David L. Goldberg prosecuted the case.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.