BOSTON (WWLP) – A total of 19 people from Colombia, Jamaica and Florida have been charged in Boston for their alleged involvement in a sophisticated international money laundering organization that was able to launder more than $6 million from Colombian cartels. through US banking systems.
US Attorney Rachel Rollins held a news conference on Tuesday to announce that $1 million had been seized from corporate bank accounts and other investigative activities. Nearly 3,000 kilograms of cocaine worth more than $90 million were allegedly attributed to the money laundering organization.
Three people were arrested in Florida and two people were arrested in Jamaica on Tuesday morning. Twelve people were arrested on April 26 in Colombia at the request of the United States for their involvement in money laundering as well as another in Orlando, Florida. One person remains at large in Jamaica.
A total of 19 people were indicted:
- Argiro De Jesus Velasquez-Velasquez aka “El Viejo” – Drug Supplier (Colombia)
- Jose Fernando Sanchez-Villanueva, alias “Picapiedra” – Drug supplier (Colombia)
- Oscar Ivan Rodriguez-Camargo, aka “El Mono” – Peso broker (Colombia)
- Willian Faustino Acosta-Calderin – Business Owner (Colombia)
- Manuel Calderin-Calderin – Business Manager (Colombia)
- German Millan-Padilla – Peso Broker (Colombia)
- Abdul Mauricio Harb-Gomez – Peso Broker (Colombia)
- Andres Rached Farah, aka “Don Andres”, aka “El Turco” – Peso Broker (Colombia)
- Fernando Carlos Pertuz-Herrera – Silver Courier (Colombia)
- Yimmy Rafael Sanchez-Jimenez, aka “El Chiqui” – Peso broker (Colombia)
- Jaime Humberto Mejia-Bencardino – Peso Broker (Colombia)
- Jose Aliro Abril-Sequera – Business Owner (Colombia)
- Harold Antonio Ayala-Pinedo – Business Owner (Colombia)
- St. Devon Anthony Cover – Silver Mail (Jamaica)
- Dennis Raymond Rowe – Money Messenger (Jamaica)
- Seivright Donald Afflick – Silver Messenger (Jamaica)
- Robert Hueton Colespring – Silver Messenger (Florida)
- Kimali St. George Myers – Silver Mail (Florida)
- Dawnett Rochelle Mcgee – Silver Steed (Florida)
According to the charging documents, law enforcement began their investigation in October 2016 into money laundering in Colombia. During the investigation, it was discovered that $6 million worth of drug proceeds had been laundered through banks in the United States, including Massachusetts, as well as banks in the Caribbean and Europe through the Colombian Black Market Peso Exchange (BMPE). The suspects were all believed to have held positions within the money laundering organization, such as drug suppliers, peso brokers, money couriers and business owners/dollar buyers.
Laundered dollars are purchased by individuals or businesses in Colombia to avoid exchange rates and income reporting requirements. The money often ends up in the bank accounts of individuals or businesses that do not appear to be directly involved in drug trafficking crimes.