A Mexican gang member was sentenced to ten years in prison for laundering $15 million in drug money.
A Mexican gang member was sentenced to ten years in federal prison for laundering $15 million from the sale of smuggled methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin.
Bianca Acedo-Ojeda, 34, of Sinaloa, Mexico, was sentenced on Thursday in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. Acedo-Ojeda, who is a member of the Sinaloa Cartel, was also fined $50,000.
According to court records, Acedo-Ojeda was extradited from Mexico to San Diego, California in 2019. She had planned for cocaine proceeds to be carried into Mexico via Southern California ports of entry utilizing automobiles with secret compartments.
She also arranged for the money to be transferred to Mexican pesos and sent to drug traffickers, which was in US bulk currency.
Six other suspects in the case have previously pled guilty and been sentenced, including Acedo-brother. Ojeda’s Robert Gallegos-Lechuga, a third defendant, pleaded guilty to money laundering conspiracy and is awaiting punishment.
Twenty more people accused of being drug and money couriers and drug stash house operators have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing in connected cases.
In a statement, Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division said, “Money launderers are the lifeblood of criminal organizations.” “We will continue to pursue money launderers linked to deadly multinational drug trafficking organizations like the Sinaloa Cartel with vigour.”
Polite Jr. stated, “I want to applaud the Mexican government for extraditing Acedo-Ojeda to the United States to face criminal charges.” “We will combat and work to eliminate violent drug gangs and their money laundering facilitators through such collaborations.” “We will continue to identify and investigate criminal organizations who seek to exploit our borders in furtherance of their illicit activity,” said Chad Plantz of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) San Diego. “If you engage in illegal finance activity to aid drug cartels, you will be caught and prosecuted.” The Department of Homeland Security has been contacted by Washington Newsday for comment.