Feds Indict 24 in Mexico Cartel and China Drug Operation Alliance

by | Cannabis Times


The Justice Department and DEA Take Down Sinaloa Cartel’s Money-Laundering Scheme with Chinese Underground Banking Network

The notorious Sinaloa drug cartel, known for its ruthless tactics and massive drug trafficking operations, has been dealt a major blow by the Justice Department and the DEA. On June 18, a 10-count superseding indictment was announced, charging individuals based in Los Angeles with conspiring with a Chinese underground banking network to launder drug proceeds.

Cartel’s Connection to Chinese Underground Banking System Exposed

In a shocking revelation, it has been uncovered that the Sinaloa Cartel has been using a Chinese underground banking system to launder money made from selling meth and cocaine. This underground network, known for its secrecy and illegal activities, has been aiding the cartel in their criminal operations.

The Infamous Sinaloa Cartel and Its Notorious Leader

The Sinaloa Cartel, one of the largest and most powerful crime syndicates in the world, has been making headlines for years. Led by the infamous Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, who is currently serving a lifetime sentence in a maximum security prison in Colorado, the cartel has been responsible for a glut of fentanyl in the United States for the past eight years.

Operation Fortune Runner: The Indictment That Exposed the Cartel’s Money-Laundering Scheme

Dubbed “Operation Fortune Runner,” federal agents issued the indictment on April 4 and it was unsealed on Monday. The 10-count indictment charges a total of 24 defendants with various crimes, including conspiracy to distribute cocaine and methamphetamine, conspiracy to launder money, and conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business.

Millions of Dollars Funneled Through Chinese Underground Banking Network

According to investigators, over $50 million in drug proceeds were funneled through the Chinese underground banking network to the Sinaloa Cartel associates. This partnership between the cartel and the Chinese criminal syndicate has been going on for years, allowing the cartel to continue their deadly operations.

International Cooperation Leads to Arrests

Thanks to the cooperation of authorities in Mexico and China, U.S. law enforcement was able to catch suspects attempting to flee the country after being charged last year. This international cooperation is crucial in taking down these powerful criminal organizations.

The Money-Laundering Process Revealed

To transfer money to the United States, a China-based investor contacts an individual with U.S. dollars available for sale. The seller then provides information for a bank account in China, where the investor deposits Chinese currency. Once the deposit is made, the equivalent amount of U.S. dollars is released to the buyer in the United States.

Cartel Members Use Various Methods to Hide Their Trail

Edgar Joel Martinez-Reyes, the lead defendant in the case, and others involved in the scheme used a variety of methods to hide their trail of money. This included “structuring” assets to avoid federal financial reporting requirements and even purchasing cryptocurrency.

A Cache of Drugs and a Message from the DEA

In addition to the money-laundering scheme, federal authorities also found a stash of drugs, including cocaine, shrooms, ecstasy, meth, and ketamine. DEA Administrator Anne Milgram stated, “Relentless greed, the pursuit of money, is what drives the Mexican drug cartels that are responsible for the worst drug crisis in American history.” She emphasized that the DEA’s top priority is to save American lives by defeating these cartels and their supporters. This investigation is just one example of their ongoing efforts.