In many criminal cases, money laundering and the distribution of illegal substances go hand in hand. Criminals will often operate a small business, such as a laundromat, salon, or diner, and use that business to launder money made from behind-the-scenes drug deals. Using a legal business operation to cover up the fact that the money was earned through illegal drug sales is a crime classified as money laundering and embezzlement.
A federal grand jury recently indicted 18 individuals for their involvement in a money laundering and drug trafficking operation in Ohio. According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, those indicted allegedly conspired to distribute large amounts of heroin imported from Mexico into central Ohio, run an illegitimate immigration identification business, and launder the money earned from the drug sales. They also reportedly planned to smuggle workers into the United States to distribute the drugs throughout Ohio.
It is claimed that those involved in the conspiracy packaged heroin into foil balls or “coins” and runners would sell these “coins” to people in public parking lots. Some of the money earned was then allegedly wired in small amounts from various storefronts in Ohio to Mexico. Reportedly, different people had different roles to play in the scheme. Some people were responsible for finding apartments and vehicles for the runners, and others would help create fake identification documents for the workers.
Money laundering and drug trafficking are serious crimes in Ohio. If you are facing charges, a criminal defense attorney may be able to review your case and defend you in court.