BOSTON (WWLP) – A total of 19 people from Colombia, Jamaica and Florida have been indicted in Boston for their alleged involvement in a sophisticated international money laundering organization that was able to launder more than $6 million from Colombian cartels through United States banking systems.
U.S. Attorney Rachel Rollins held a news conference on Tuesday to announce that $1 million was seized from corporate banks accounts and through other investigative activity. Nearly 3,000 kilograms of cocaine worth over $90 million was allegedly traced back to the money laundering organization.
Three people were arrested in Florida and two people were arrested in Jamaica Tuesday morning. Twelve people were arrested on April 26 in Colombia at request of the United States for their involvement in the money laundering as well as one other in Orlando, Florida. One person remains at large in Jamaica.
In total, 19 people have been indicted:
- Argiro De Jesus Velasquez-Velasquez, a/k/a “El Viejo” – Drug supplier (Colombia)
- Jose Fernando Sanchez-Villanueva, a/k/a “Picapiedra” – Drug supplier (Colombia)
- Oscar Ivan Rodriguez-Camargo, a/k/a “El Mono” – Peso broker (Colombia)
- Willian Faustino Acosta-Calderin – Business owner (Colombia)
- Manuel Calderin-Calderin – Business owner (Colombia)
- German Millan-Padilla – Peso broker (Colombia)
- Abdul Mauricio Harb-Gomez – Peso broker (Colombia)
- Andres Rached Farah, a/k/a/ “Don Andres,” a/k/a “El Turco” – Peso broker (Colombia)
- Fernando Carlos Pertuz-Herrera – Money courier (Colombia)
- Yimmy Rafael Sanchez-Jimenez, a/k/a “El Chiqui” – Peso broker (Colombia)
- Jaime Humberto Mejia-Bencardino – Peso broker (Colombia)
- Jose Aliro Abril-Sequera – Business owner (Colombia)
- Harold Antonio Ayala-Pinedo – Business owner (Colombia)
- St. Devon Anthony Cover – Money courier (Jamaica)
- Dennis Raymond Rowe – Money courier (Jamaica)
- Seivright Donald Afflick – Money courier (Jamaica)
- Robert Hueton Colespring – Money courier (Florida)
- Kimali St. George Myers – Money courier (Florida)
- Dawnett Rochelle Mcgee – Money courier (Florida)
According to charging documents, law enforcement began their investigation in October 2016 on the money laundering in Colombia. During the investigation, it was discovered that $6 million in drug proceeds was laundered through banks in the United States, including Massachusetts, as well as banks in the Caribbean and Europe through the Colombian Black Market Peso Exchange (BMPE). The suspects all allegedly held roles within the money laundering organization, such as drug suppliers, peso brokers, money couriers and business owners/dollar purchasers.
The laundered dollars are purchased by people or companies in Colombia to avoid currency exchange rates and income reporting requirements. The money often ends up in bank accounts of individuals or companies who appear to have no direct involvement in the drug trafficking crimes.