DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas have confirmed that a Mexican cartel boss and nearly 30 of his co-conspirators have been charged with laundering more than $10 million.
According to Erin Nealy Cox, the money came from drug proceeds and was laundered through a local western wear store.
A federal grand jury charged 28 individuals connected to Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion with conspiracy to launder monetary instruments and other financial, drug, and gun crimes, including conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute heroin, and possession of a firearm. Dozens of those charged have already been arrested.
“Drug cartels like CJNG wreak havoc across the globe, driving the spread of deadly drugs like meth and heroin,” said Cox. “We’re committed to tracking the money and disrupting these organizations by attacking their bottom line. By striking both the money and the drugs, we can more effectively impact the organization.”
According to the 38-count indictment, Jose Valdovinos Jimenez, a boss also known as “La Roca” or “The Rock,” conspired with his co-defendants to smuggle hundreds of kilograms of methamphetamine and heroin across the Mexican border, distribute the drugs in the United States, launder the proceeds, and then transfer the money back to CJNG leaders.
Couriers were allegedly used to smuggle the drugs across the border, recrystallization laboratories to purify them, and stash houses to store the drugs.
At Mr. Jimenez’s direction, dealers were believed to have transported drug proceeds to Yoli’s Western Wear, a clothing store on Buckner Boulevard in Dallas. The 23-year-old manager of Yoli’s, Ivan Noe Valerio, and his family members allegedly then counted the money, separated it into thousands of transactions, and ultimately sent it back to the CJNG in Mexico.
During the course of the investigation, agents seized some 700 kilograms of methamphetamine, 80 kilograms of heroin, and $500,000.
If convicted, Jimenez and Valero face life in federal prison.