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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Second Defendant Sentenced for Laundering over $400,000 in Currency from Purported Narcotics Transactions

A Miami Dade County resident was sentenced today to 51 months in prison, to be followed by one year of supervised release, for conspiring with another defendant to launder money from purported narcotics transactions.

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), made the announcement.

On November 20, 2014, Pavel Sosa Medina, 46, of Miami, pled guilty to a one-count information charging him with conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States.

According to court documents, from January 2014 through August 2014, Sosa Medina conspired with defendant Amado Vazquez to launder money from purported narcotics transactions. In January 2014, Vazquez met with an IRS undercover agent (UCA). The UCA said he was in the business of laundering money for Mexican drug dealers from the sale of cocaine. The UCA advised Vazquez that he needed help moving $15,000 to $20,000 in cash a day, and Vazquez indicated that he could assist with the laundering of these proceeds.

On several occasions, according to court documents, from March 2014 through July 2014, the UCA provided Vazquez with over $400,000 in currency that represented purported narcotics transactions proceeds. Vazquez provided the UCA with checks to various shell companies or returned the money to the UCA via wires to the bank accounts of shell corporations.

Court documents further explain that on August 21, 2014, Vazquez admitted his involvement in the scheme and explained that he and Sosa Medina split a 15% fee for laundering this money. On that same day, Vazquez contacted Sosa Medina and advised in code that Vazquez had several hundred thousand dollars in cash. Sosa Medina arrived at Vazquez’s residence where he was arrested by law enforcement. ln Sosa Medina’s car, law enforcement found approximately twenty to thirty thousand dollars in cash and a large number of blank checks from a construction company.

On November 6, 2014, Vazquez pled guilty to the one-count information charging him with conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States. On January 14, 2015, Vazquez was sentenced to 34 months in prison, followed by one year of supervised release.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the IRS-CI. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael N. Berger.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

Updated March 17, 2015