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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 4, 2021

Peruvian Citizen Sentenced to 87 Months for Role in Transnational Drug Trafficking and Money Laundering Conspiracy

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Hilario Renato Mendoza Beltran, age 48, and a citizen of Peru, was sentenced today to 87 months in prison for conspiring to distribute over 5 kilograms of cocaine and conspiring to launder the proceeds of an international cocaine trafficking organization.

The announcement was made by Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon; Ray Donovan, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), New York Field Division; Jonathan D. Larsen, Special Agent in Charge, New York Field Office, Internal Revenue Service (IRS)-Criminal Investigation; and Kevin Kelly, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Buffalo Field Office.

Between August 2014 and March 30, 2016, a money laundering and drug trafficking organization based in Montreal, Canada, collected the cash proceeds from selling marijuana in the United States and cocaine in Canada.  The cash was delivered to couriers in, among other places, Albany County, Ulster County, and Montreal so that the cash could be delivered, either by a courier or by wire, to cocaine suppliers to purchase cocaine.  At least $1 million was sent to Chicago, Los Angeles, Peru, Mexico and Colombia; money was also wired to China.  The organization then arranged for the smuggling of cocaine back to Canada, and transported some of the cocaine through northern New York.

In pleading guilty, Mendoza Beltran admitted that between October and December 2014, he acted as a Peru-based operative for the organization by receiving and transporting approximately $472,000 in drug proceeds, and arranging for the delivery of approximately 140 kilograms of cocaine to co-conspirators in Piura, Peru.  Pilots working for the organization then picked up the cocaine at a clandestine airstrip outside of Piura, and flew it to Guatemala, and then on to Mexico, where it was smuggled into the United States.

Mendoza Beltran’s guilty plea followed his formal extradition from Peru to the Northern District of New York in August 2019.

United States District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino also sentenced Mendoza Beltran to a 2-year term of post-imprisonment supervised release, to begin after he is released from prison and in the event he remains in the country.

As part of the same case, all of the following people have pled guilty to cocaine trafficking and money laundering charges before Judge D’Agostino, and several have been sentenced.

Name

Age

Residence

Convictions

Sentence and/or Sentencing Date

Iraklis Haviaropoulos

43

Montreal, Canada

Cocaine conspiracy > 5 kilograms

International money laundering conspiracy

August 6, 2021

Carlos Alberto Ocampo Garcia

58

Cali, Colombia

Cocaine conspiracy > 5 kilograms

International money laundering conspiracy

July 6, 2021

Matthew Fernandes

37

Montreal, Canada

Cocaine conspiracy > 5 kilograms

 

87 months

Jose Mauricio Ortiz Bolanos

32

Cali, Colombia

Cocaine conspiracy > 5 kilograms

International money laundering conspiracy

78 months

Eduardo Nunez Serna

46

Chicago, Illinois

Promotional money laundering conspiracy

57 months

James DeSantis

58

Pompano Beach, Florida

International money laundering conspiracy

37 months

This case is the result of the close cooperative efforts of the DEA, including the Albany District Office and DEA offices in Peru, Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, and Worcester, Massachusetts; IRS-Criminal Investigation and HSI.  These federal agencies worked closely with the Sûreté du Québec, the Canada Border Services Agency, the Peruvian National Police, and the Colombian National Police.  U.S. Border Patrol, the Malone Police Department, the New York State Police, the Chicago Police Department, the Massachusetts State Police, and the Watervliet Police Department also provided assistance.

This case was and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elizabeth R. Rabe, Daniel Hanlon and Emmet J. O’Hanlon.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated June 4, 2021