MAY 08 (ORLANDO, Fla.) –United States District Judge Roy B. Dalton, Jr. sentenced Joel Torres (41, Apopka) to 40 months in federal prison for money laundering and failing to file IRS Forms 8300 (a report required for cash purchases over $10,000). A federal jury found Torres guilty on December 3, 2012.
According to court documents, Torres, the President of JM2 Auto Sales, Inc. in Apopka, laundered narcotics proceeds for the Gulf Cartel, a drug trafficking organization based in Mexico. Torres received cash and then sent vehicles back to members of the Cartel in Texas. He also sold vehicles to local Cartel members. During this joint investigative effort, law enforcement seized more than 6,000 pounds of marijuana, more than 70 firearms - including assault weapons, bullet proof vests, and nearly $1 million.
Torres is the eleventh defendant convicted in this investigation. Previously, Eladio Marroquin-Medina (30, Apopka), the vice-president at JM2 Auto Sales Inc., was sentenced to 72 months imprisonment for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute over 1,000 kilograms of marijuana and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration Orlando District Office, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Apopka Police Department, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, and the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.