Six Mission, Texas Residents Plead Guilty to Participating in Drug Trafficking and Money Laundering Scheme
In San Antonio today, six more 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, the following defendants pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering: 47-year-old Norma Leticia Villarreal-Garcia (*two counts); 36-year-old Iza Corina Flores-Alanis; 24-year-old Juan Antonio Villarreal; 57-year-old Jose Luis Villarreal-Arelis (aka “El Cosas”); 47-year-old Nancy Isela Villarreal-Gonzalez; and, 27-year-old Gilberto Villarreal-Villarreal.
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.
The defendants face up to 20 years in federal prison for the money laundering conspiracy charge. Sentencing is scheduled for May 24, 2017.
To date, 12 defendants have entered guilty pleas resulting from this investigation. Four defendants—45-year-old Reymundo Villarreal-Arelis (aka “Mundo”); 37-year-old Jesus Jaime Andrade of Mission; 66–year-old Sergio Guadalupe Adame-Ochoa of McAllen, TX; and, Gilberto Villarreal-Arelis (aka “Beto”, “Betito”)--remain under indictment in this case. Gilberto Villarreal-Arelis remains a fugitive. 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.