Husband and Wife Found Guilty in Meth and Money Laundering Conspiracy
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Dakota
SIOUX FALLS - United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced that a jury has convicted Salvador Madrigal Jr. (age 41) and Anahi Plascencia Cardona (age 33), both of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, following a four-day long jury trial in federal district court in Sioux Falls. Both defendants were convicted of one count of Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance and one count of Conspiracy to Launder Monetary Instruments. The verdicts were returned on May 5, 2023.
The charge of Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum penalty of life in custody and/or a $10,000,000 fine, five years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. The charge of Conspiracy to Launder Monetary Instruments carries a maximum penalty of twenty years in custody and/or a $500,000 fine, three years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.
Madrigal Jr. and Plascencia Cardona were indicted by a federal grand jury in July of 2021.
Salvador Madrigal Jr., and his wife Anahi Plascencia Cardona, were leaders of a South Dakota drug cell that was responsible for trafficking hundreds of pounds of methamphetamine into South Dakota from California and Mexico. The husband-and-wife team worked with other members of the conspiracy, including some of their family members, who have previously been charged and convicted, to aid in the transportation and distribution of well over one hundred pounds of methamphetamine and hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Madrigal Jr. recruited his aunt, Maria Magana Zavala, and her husband William Hartwick, to make multiple trips to and from California to transport methamphetamine, marijuana, and money, promising them that this endeavor would be prosperous. Magana Zavala and Hartwick were instead sentenced to 70 months in custody for their involvement in the conspiracy. Madrigal Jr. also recruited his younger brother, Oscar Madrigal, to aid in the organization’s activities. Oscar Madrigal was sentenced to 120 months in custody for Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance in July of 2022. Madrigal Jr. also involved his mother, Rosa Madrigal, in the money laundering conspiracy by arranging to have her make multiple deposits of cash into multiple institutions, to launder the proceeds of his drug trafficking organization. Rosa Madrigal was sentenced to 60 months in custody for Conspiracy to Launder Monetary Instruments in August of 2022. Multiple other co-conspirators who were responsible for the sub-distribution of these drugs have also been charged and sentenced in federal court.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations, and the Sioux Falls Area Drug Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Hodges prosecuted the case alongside Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Ebert, who also serves as a prosecutor with the South Dakota Attorney General’s Office.
Presentence investigations were ordered, and sentencing dates for each defendant will be set in the future. The defendants were both remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.
Updated May 9, 2023