Five Mission, Texas Residents and One Oklahoman Plead Guilty to Participating in Drug Trafficking and Money Laundering Scheme
In San Antonio today, six individuals pleaded guilty to their roles in a drug trafficking and money laundering conspiracy occurring in South Texas, Central Texas and Oklahoma announced United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr., Western District of Texas; United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson, Southern District of Texas; Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge William Cotter, San Antonio Division; and, Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Arabit, Houston Division.
Appearing before United States District Judge Xavier Rodriguez this afternoon:
Juan Villarreal-Arelis (aka “Juando”), age 43, of Mission, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine;
Jose Luis Villarreal-Gonzalez (aka “Nune”), age 32, of Mission, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine;
Manuel Villarreal-Garcia, age 40, of Mission, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine;
Jovanna Villarreal-Diaz, age 37, of Mission, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering;
Raymundo Villarreal, Jr. (aka “Mundito”), age 23, of Mission; pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and one count of conspiracy to structure transactions to evade reporting requirements; and,
Denis Winn, age 54, of Tecumseh, OK, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to structure transactions to evade reporting requirements.
By pleading guilty, the defendants admittedly conspired since January 2000 to: (1) engage in financial transactions using proceeds derived from the importation, receiving, concealment, buying, and/or selling cocaine; and (2), transport or transmit monetary instruments to locations outside of the United States in an effort to conceal the source, ownership and control of proceeds derived from unlawful activity.
Raymundo Villarreal, Jr., and Denis Winn also admitted that in October and November 2011, they purchased American Quarter Horses from an auction house in Oklahoma using drug proceeds collected in San Antonio. Furthermore, payments for horses were made under $10,000 so as to avoid having to complete an IRS form 8300, which would have alerted the IRS and possibly raised suspicion about the source of the funds.
The defendants face sentences of between ten years and life in federal prison on the drug charge; up to 20 years in federal prison for the money laundering conspiracy charge; and, up to five years in federal prison on the structuring charge. Sentencing is scheduled for May 24, 2017.
Nine defendants remain under indictment in this case. Jury selection and trial is set for March 13, 2017.
An indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
This investigation was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Waco Treasury Task Force comprised of IRS-CI, Irving Police Department, Woodway Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety and the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office together with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s McAllen, San Antonio and Houston field offices and Homeland Security Investigations.