DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ7)- A federal grand jury has indicted four people associated with Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) on federal money laundering charges.
February 20, a grand jury in the U.S. District Court in Roanoke returned an indictment charging 40-year-old Alejandro Escarcega-Avila, Francisco Alvarez-Rosales, Meliton Alvarez-Rosales and Noe Salvador Becerra-Gonzalez. All four are citizens of Mexico living in Axton, Virginia.
Each defendant is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Escarcega-Avila is also charged with one count of illegal reentry of a previously removed alien and one count of illegal possession of a firearm by an illegal alien.
Beginning in 2018, the defendants conspired to conduct financial transactions affecting interstate commerce, specifically the transfer, delivery and exchange of United States Currency, which involved the proceeds from the distribution and manufacturing of controlled substances, according to the indictment.
According to a release from the Department of Justice, those involved with the CJNG transported cocaine, heroin and marijuana, along with other substances, into the U.S. from Mexico. The cartel recruited people from Mexico to live in Axton in order to distribute substances throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.
The defendants transmitted large amounts of U.S. money - received as payment for the substances - to members and affiliates of the cartel in Mexico.
The investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Department of Homeland Security-Homeland Security Investigations, the Virginia State Police and the Henry County Sheriff’s Office; it was partly funded by the federal Organized Drug Enforcement Task Force program.
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