Monday, December 13, 2010

Houston Was Home Base for Money Laundering Operation

There are plenty of people in Texas who, understandably, are looking for ways to make extra money. The economy is still struggling and even those with jobs are finding it difficult to pay their bills every month. As you consider the various opportunities that may come before you, allow me to offer one small piece of advice. If someone offers you $500 simply to put some money in the bank on his behalf, walk away. You may end up spending a year behind bars -- just ask Gloria Cuero.

Cuero was a security guard at a courthouse in Florida who ended up a part of a drug money laundering ring based out of Houston. She agreed to deposit the cash for a friend who turned out to be a heroin dealer from Colombia, and her action was just one that developed over a series of transactions in South America, Houston, Miami, New York, New Jersey, and Detroit. The United States Justice Department estimates that anywhere from $18 billion to $39 billion belonging to drug traffickers is stashed in our country every year.

The kingpins of the operation worked out of Houston, working behind the disguise of legitimate businesses such as a car auction and a tire shop. After six months of tapping their phone lines, the federal authorities had enough evidence to move forward with the arrest of six Colombians in Houston, all of whom were convicted.

Involvement in drug trafficking or money laundering are offenses that usually will result in serious jail time in a federal prison. If you have been accused of involvement in such an international crime ring and you need to clear your name, the experienced attorneys at Bertolino LLP can help. We have criminal defense attorneys and immigration attorneys who have worked in federal courtrooms and are ready to work with you. Please contact our Austin, Houston, or San Antonio office today.

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