Tulsa Man Sentenced for Conspiring to Launder Money in Methamphetamine Trafficking Operation
A Tulsa man was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court for his involvement in methamphetamine trafficking and money laundering operations at Casa Herrera, a local money remitter business, announced U.S. Attorney Trent Shores.
U.S. District Judge Gregory K. Frizzell sentenced Cesar Ordaz-Miranda, 45, of Tulsa, to 84 months in federal prison to be followed by three years of supervised release for money laundering conspiracy. The defendant pleaded guilty to the money laundering conspiracy on Aug. 21, 2019.
“Methamphetamine continues to flow over our porous southern border and into Oklahoma. The drug proceeds return to Mexico, but the addicts remain here,” said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores. “Money laundering fuels drug trafficking operations and facilitates the distribution of drugs in northern Oklahoma. One way to stop the flow of methamphetamine into Oklahoma is to dismantle the money laundering operations that facilitate it. Whether you are a drug mule or a money launderer, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, Tulsa Police Department, and U.S. Attorney’s Office are on the job. We will dismantle your illegal business and send you prison. Cesar Ordaz-Miranda learned that the hard way.”
Cesar Ordaz-Miranda was indicted with 21 other defendants in 2018. Also named in the indictment was Felix Ordaz-Miranda, the defendant’s brother. Felix Ordaz-Miranda was previously convicted in 2006 for drug trafficking. Subsequent to his prosecution, Felix was removed from the United States but later resumed his role in the drug trafficking organization in Mexico.
The highly efficient drug trafficking organization was able to transport 50 kilograms of high grade methamphetamine from Mexico into the Northern District of Oklahoma. The organization sent the methamphetamine in shipments of 15 kilograms each. Felix recruited Cesar to take part in the money laundering operations.
For 26 months, Cesar Ordaz-Miranda laundered money for the drug trafficking operation, thus facilitating the transport and sale of methamphetamine into Oklahoma. In his plea agreement, Cesar Ordaz-Miranda stated that he received money and sent it back to Mexico to individuals who supplied methamphetamine for distribution in Tulsa and the surrounding areas. To facilitate the process, he used Casa Herrera and other money remitter businesses to generate wire transfers using nominee names. A “nominee name” is used to hide the actual recipient of the money and disguise the true nature of the transactions. Cesar Ordaz-Miranda stated in his plea agreement that Alfredo Herrera, Domingo Aguirre, and Javier Passement assisted him by generating wire transfers to send drug proceeds from Tulsa to Mexico. As a result of the criminal prosecutions associated with this case, Casa Herrera is no longer in business.
Ordaz-Miranda remains in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service until transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility.
The Drug Enforcement Administration, FBI, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and Tulsa Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel-lyn A. McCormick prosecuted the case. AUSA McCormick serves as the lead attorney for the United States Attorney’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces.