Nineteen people have been indicted and more than $1 million was confiscated from dummy companies allegedly set up to launder more than $6 million in dirty money, the culmination of a five-year investigation involving cocaine and money laundering in the U.S., Jamaica and Colombia.
"In addition nearly 3000 kilograms of cocaine valued at over $90 million has been traced back to the money laundering organization," Rachael Rollins, U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts, said Tuesday.
Rollins was joined by law enforcement colleagues from Colombia and Jamaica as she talked about how infiltration by undercover officers, cooperating witnesses and confidential sources revealed the complicated plot to exchange dollars for Colombian pesos and clean the money through U.S. banks.
Rollins said the banks used were in Massachusetts, so that's where the case will be tried.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jared Dolan added that the banks were apparently not part of the scheme but were duped by the dummy businesses.
"They created fake documents that would be submitted to the banks to overcome the anti-money-laundering protocols of the banks involved so the banks were not involved in Massachusetts in the criminal enterprise," Dolan explained.
Brian Boyle is the agent in charge of the DEA's New England office. He said this investigation went after the cartels where it hurts the most.
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"A lot of the time you'll see us up here talking about drug seizures and organizations we've taken off the streets here in Massachusetts. This is very important in that we're going to the other end of it. We're going after the financial impact which is what they thrive on is making money," Boyle explained.
Rollins said some of the money exchanges likely took place on streets in Massachusetts.
The investigation is ongoing.