Mexican cartel CJNG courier pleads guilty to money laundering


A courier working in Virginia for one of Mexico’s most violent drug cartels pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a money laundering charge.

Jorge Orozco-Sandoval, 35, admitted in federal court in Alexandria that he deposited nearly $320,000 in three separate installments at a Target store in Front Royal, Va., expecting the funds be sent to Mexico to the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG). But he actually gave the bags of money to an undercover law enforcement officer, according to documents filed with his guilty plea.

A According to Orozco-Sandoval’s plea documents, an undercover law enforcement agent “was in contact with a money broker who claimed to work for” the CJNG. The broker told the undercover officer that a courier would drop off the drug proceeds in northwest Virginia and that the agent was to “arrange to deposit the proceeds into a bank account in order to send back to suppliers in Mexico”.

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“This, in turn, would facilitate the ongoing drug trafficking enterprise,” the documents state.

Orozco-Sandoval handed over $129,100 in June 2021 to a second undercover officer, $94,500 in July 2021 and $96,240 in September 2021, he admitted in the documents. Orozco-Sandoval also distributed cocaine in Virginia, according to a statement of facts filed with his plea.

Federal prosecutors in Virginia had charged him and four others in May with conspiracy to distribute narcotics. Orozco-Sandoval previously served time in prison in Maryland for possession of drugs with intent to distribute and was deported to Mexico in 2010.

U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema has scheduled Orozco-Sandoval’s sentencing for Nov. 29. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

“Despite the fact that CJNG is one of the youngest cartels in Mexico, it is considered one of the most powerful and violent cartels in Mexico today,” according to researchers from the National Consortium for the Study from the University of Maryland. Terrorism and responses to terrorism. They say the cartel is believed to have over $20 billion in assets.

Since its official founding in 2011, the CJNG has been known for its quasi-military tactics, its use of drones and high-powered weapons to attack enemy cartels for control of parts of Mexico, and its social media propaganda. The Department of Justice says it is “one of the five most dangerous transnational criminal organizations in the world, responsible for trafficking tons of cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin containing fentanyl into the United States. United, as well as violence and significant loss of life in the United States.” Mexico.”

The organization’s founder and leader, Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, or “El Mencho,” is one of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s most wanted fugitives. The AED is offering $10 million for information leading to his capture. Her son, Rubén Oseguera González, was extradited to the US in 2020 to face international drug trafficking charges and is awaiting trial in DC federal court.

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In 2018, then Attorney General Jeff Sessions announcement 15 indictments of directors, financiers, transporters and suppliers of the cartel.

Orozco-Sandoval’s attorney, Adam M. Krischer, said after the hearing that Orozco-Sandoval pleaded guilty only to a money laundering charge filed Tuesday. Brinkema said from the bench that admitting Orozco-Sandoval as part of the plea that he also distributed cocaine in Virginia could lengthen his prison sentence.

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