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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Texas

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Indictment Unsealed Which Charges Former Secretary Of Finance For The Mexican State Of Coahuila In Money Laundering Conspiracy

A federal grand jury indictment unsealed this morning in San Antonio charges Hector Javier Villarreal Hernandez, the former Secretary of Finance for the Mexican State of Coahuila, Mexico, for his alleged role in a money laundering conspiracy announced United States Attorney Robert Pitman; Drug Enforcement Administration Acting Special Agent in Charge Steven Whipple, Houston Division; Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Steve McCollough and Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge Janice Ayala.

The indictment alleges that since January 2008, Villarreal and others conducted financial transactions involving the proceeds of unlawful activity.   According to the indictment, the proceeds in question involve the importation, sale and distribution of controlled substances; bribery of a public official; embezzlement of public funds; and, wire fraud.  The indictment further alleges that as part of the scheme, the defendant transferred funds in and out of the United States in order to conceal and disguise the nature, source and ownership of the criminally derived proceeds.

Upon conviction, the defendant faces up to 20 years in federal prison. 

Villarreal surrendered to federal authorities in El Paso yesterday.  He remains in federal custody following his Initial Appearance this afternoon in San Antonio before United States Magistrate Judge Henry Bemporad.  No further court dates are scheduled at this time.

This indictment resulted from an investigation conducted by agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) together with Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the DEA’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force in San Antonio. 

The United States Government is grateful for the ongoing cooperation of the Government of Mexico with regard to this investigation.

An indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt.  The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Updated December 15, 2014