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8 Individuals Accused of Transnational Drug Trafficking

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Fort Worth criminal defense attorney drug trafficking

Drug trafficking is never a one-man operation. In some cases, the drug sales may be moving locally across various hands while in others the drug trafficking operation can span across the globe. A federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Texas indicted eight individuals for their illicit involvement in an international drug trafficking conspiracy. Only one of the people involved is actually from Texas despite the case happening in a Texas court. So why is the case taking place in the Lone Star State and what are the charges being made?

Texas As Home Base

Eight individuals, including 40-year-old Carlos Villaurrutia of McAllen, Texas, were charged with conspiracies to manufacture and distribute cocaine, commit money laundering, commit wire fraud, commit export violations, and commit federal registration violations involving an aircraft. According to the indictment, these eight people have been involved in approximately $350 million in alleged criminal offenses over the past five years. 

This complex, high-dollar criminal scheme involved the defendants allegedly purchasing and illegally registering aircraft under foreign corporations and individuals for exporting purposes. Two of the individuals allegedly registered thousands of aircraft in Onalaska, Texas -- a town without an airport. These aircraft were then used to smuggle masses of cocaine from Mexico and South America to the United States. These funds were then transported in cash from the States back to Mexico and used to purchase additional aircraft and illegal substances. 

As you can see, these eight individuals -- and likely others across the globe -- created a complex scheme that involved the commission of a number of crimes. Not only were illicit drugs purchased and moved from one country to another, but the individuals involved also used a fraud scheme in which they convinced others to invest in the aircraft for purchases that never occurred, using this money to fund their scheme under the nose of the investors. Despite the other seven individuals not residing in Texas, the Lone Star State acted as the home base for the alleged crimes. For this reason, the case is being tried in the Texas federal court. The large number of charges means the defendants could face layers of criminal penalties, including 10 years to life imprisonment for the drug conspiracy charges and a maximum of 20 years for the money laundering, export, and wire fraud violations.

Contact a Plano Criminal Defense Attorney

Facing charges for a single crime is intimidating enough; add three to four more charges on top of that and a few years behind bars can turn into life imprisonment. In cases like these, the defendants’ criminal defense team can make all the difference. At The Crowder Law Firm, P.C., we have been defending Collin County residents for over 20 years. Our legal team works tirelessly so that you have a clear defense strategy in place aimed to exonerate you of your charges or secure a reduced sentence. If you are facing criminal charges of any kind, contact our Collin County criminal defense lawyers at 214-303-9600 to discuss the details of your case during your free consultation.

 

Source:

https://www.justice.gov/usao-edtx/pr/eight-individuals-indicted-transnational-drug-trafficking-money-laundering-and

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