Meth Dealer And Money Launderer Sentenced In Federal Court
United States Attorney Kenyen R. Brown of the Southern District of Alabama announced that Marlon Alberto Chirinos-Saleno, 32, a citizen of Honduras, was sentenced today in federal court to the statutory minimum mandatory sentence of 120 months for his participation in a drug trafficking organization operating between Texas and Alabama. Chirinos pled guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and conspiracy to launder money in October of 2015.
At the sentencing hearing today, the prosecution presented evidence to support certain guideline enhancements, including testimony that a stolen gun was seized from Chirinos’ residence in Austin, Texas, when he was arrested on the charges last May. Chirinos gave a statement to Homeland Security agents that he bought the gun as protection against a death threat which resulted from a drug deal gone wrong. Two of Chirinos’ co-defendants testified against him at the hearing, establishing that Chirinos held a gun to one of them and that he directed their activities in obtaining the drugs in Texas, transporting them to Mobile, distributing them here and getting the drug money back to Texas. When approximately $57,000 in drug proceeds was seized from a co-defendant, Chirinos opened bank accounts in the names of others which were used to make cash deposits. The evidence at the hearing showed that the drug money was deposited in Mobile into the accounts controlled by Chirinos, and he would immediately have the money withdrawn in Austin, Texas, and at other locations as necessary to pay for more drugs. Through the conspiracy, Chirinos and the others distributed at least six pounds of methamphetamine and 200 pounds of marijuana. Approximately $161,000 in drug proceeds was laundered through the bank accounts.
United States District Court Judge Kristi K. Dubose found that the prosecution evidence established that Chirinos occupied a position of leadership and that the weapon was possessed in connection with the drug trafficking activities. The judge imposed the statutory minimum sentence of 120 months. She also ordered a five-year term of supervised release to follow his release from custody, but further ordered that he be turned over to immigration officials for consideration of deportation when he is released. No fine was imposed but Chirinos was ordered to pay $200 in special mandatory assessments.
The investigation was conducted by the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office, the Department of Homeland Security Investigations, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It was prosecuted in the United States Attorney’s Office by Assistant United States Attorney Gloria Bedwell.