The leader of an international drug money laundering operation has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Jesus Rodriguez-Jimenez, 47, of Monterrey, Mexico, was found to have laundered more than $250 million through a web of front companies, shell bank accounts, and money couriers throughout the United States and Europe. His international money laundering business had ties to Mexico, Italy, Hungary, Panama, and China, supporting drug cartels in Mexico and Central America.
The sentencing followed charges brought after an investigation led by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Las Vegas District Office. “This sentencing should serve as a warning to others that would use the cover of legitimate business to conceal proceeds derived from narcotics trafficking,” said DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Daniel Neill.
The DEA began its investigation into Rodriguez-Jimenez in mid-2013. Alongside bringing him to justice, charges have been brought against eight others, including alleged high-level money launderer Filippo Magni, who was extradited from Italy earlier this summer.
Rodriguez-Jimenez used fear and intimidation to control his empire, official said, and even used an armored car company among his organizations fronting the operation. Some drug dollars were wired to pay companies in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan for goods, which were then shipped to Mexico and sold for local currency, often at below-market prices.