Millions seized, 75 charged in sweeping cartel bust (pictures)

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An international conspiracy to launder tens of millions of dollars has led to charges against 75 people from across the U.S. Millions in cash, linked to Mexican drug cartels, was also seized.

Fox News reportsThe U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego unsealed 40 indictments against defendants accused in the scheme dating to 2015. Investigators seized more than $6 million in cash as well as weapons and large quantities of drugs, including methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, and marijuana, officials said.

Mexican-based brokers oversaw a network of “money movers” who transported drug proceeds throughout the U.S. in boxes and duffel bags and deposited the cash into so-called funnel bank accounts, according to prosecutors. From there the funds were wired to accounts for false companies in Mexico controlled by drug suppliers, including members of the Sinaloa cartel, they said.

40 people were charged in San Diego, Cali. alone. Twenty-one are currently in custody, U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman said.

“We have siphoned the cash and the life out of a San Diego-based international money laundering organization with ties to the Sinaloa Cartel,” said Braverman. “By following the money, we have discovered large quantities of fentanyl, heroin and methamphetamine that are no longer destined for the streets of America.”

Braverman continued: “That’s a one-two punch that takes these organizations completely out of the ring and makes our communities safer.”

According to the report, undercover agents nailed suspects in California, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

The defendants face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of conspiracy to launder money, according to Braverman.

CLICK HERE to view the complete report from the Department of Justice’s Southern District of California.

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