KANSAS CITY, KAN. – A federal investigation in Kansas has tied drug traffickers to an international money laundering scheme, according to U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister.
In San Diego Thursday, federal prosecutors announced charges against 40 alleged members of an international money-laundering scheme that laundered tens of millions of dollars in drug money from drug dealers in the United States to suppliers in Mexico. Two of those defendants in the California case already were indicted by a grand jury in Kansas after being targets of a federal investigation here. Their case is pending in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan.
“Assistant U.S. Attorney Tris Hunt and his team of investigators in Kansas has been working on this for two years,” McAllister said.
The indictment in California charges Juan Duarte-Tello, 44, Kansas City, Mo., and Diana Aurora Holguin-Gallegos, 30, Kansas City, Mo., with working as money couriers who transported large amounts of cash generated from drug trafficking. The California indictment is part of a nationwide takedown stemming from a multi-year investigation led by the FBI San Diego Cross Border Violence Task Force, IRS Criminal Investigation, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California.
In addition to the indictments unsealed today in San Diego, dozens of other defendants have been charged across the United States with crimes ranging from drug distribution to money laundering stemming from this investigation, including defendants in Kansas, Ohio, Kentucky and Washington.
According to the indictments and other publicly filed court documents, Jose Robert Lopez-Albarran, a significant money broker for a Mexican based international money laundering organization along with other members of the organization, allegedly laundered tens of millions of dollars in narcotics proceeds from the United States to Mexico between 2015 and 2018. As a result of the investigation, law enforcement seized more than $6 million in United States currency.
In the Kansas case, Duarte-Tello and Holguin-Gallegos are awaiting trial on charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and other counts including renting a residences in Kansas City, Kan. and Kansas City, Mo. for the purpose of storing and distributing methamphetamine. The Kansas investigation resulted in seizures of more than 44 kilograms of methamphetamine, three kilograms of cocaine and more than $100,000 in cash.
The Drug Enforcement Administration and FBI investigated the case in Kansas. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tris Hunt is prosecuting.