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Press Release

Madison Man Sentenced in Methamphetamine and Money Laundering Conspiracies

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Dakota

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Madison, South Dakota, man convicted of Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance, Conspiracy to Launder Monetary Instruments, and Use of a Fraudulent Identification Document was sentenced on September 24, 2018, by U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier.

Alex Lopez-Nicolas, age 24, was sentenced as follows:  On the methamphetamine and money laundering conspiracies, 120 months in federal prison on each count, to run concurrent, followed by 5 years of supervised release on the methamphetamine conspiracy and 3 years of supervised release on the money laundering conspiracy, to run concurrent.  He was also ordered to pay $200 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.

On the fraudulent document charge, he was sentenced to 60 months in federal prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, both to run concurrent to the sentences received on the conspiracies.  He was also ordered to pay $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.

Lopez-Nicolas was indicted for using a fraudulent Permanent Resident card by a federal grand jury on January 9, 2018, and for conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and conspiracy to launder monetary instruments by a federal grand jury on January 9, 2018.  He pled guilty to all of the offenses on June 11, 2018.

On January 9, 2017, Lopez-Nicolas applied for work at a business in Madison.  At that time, he provided the employer with a fraudulent Permanent Resident card as proof of his eligibility for employment.

From on or about January 1, 2017, to November 15, 2017, Lopez-Nicolas had multiple conversations with a confidential informant about setting up methamphetamine transactions with a co-conspirator.  He also deposited cash from the sale of methamphetamine into several Wells Fargo Bank accounts, none of which were in his name, to conceal the source of the cash. 

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the Internal Revenue Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer D. Mammenga and Connie Larson prosecuted the case.

Lopez-Nicolas was immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Updated September 26, 2018

Drug Trafficking