February 16, 2018
Contact: Jodie Underwood
Phone Number: (206) 553-5443
Snohomish County Couple Indicted For Conspiring To Launder Drug Money
SEATTLE - Three Snohomish County residents were arrested on February 14, 2018, in connection with a two year investigation into a money laundering scheme tied to multiple drug trafficking organizations. Maria Angelica Maldonado, 55 and her husband Ismael Garcia SR, 49, were arrested at their Marysville home. Anthony Bustos, 20, was arrested at his Monroe residence. In all, law enforcement served search warrants on five residences, a business on Evergreen Way in Everett, Washington, and six vehicles.
According to the indictment and the search warrant affidavit, law enforcement began investigating Maldonado’s business ‘Celulares y Multiservicios Latinos’ (MSL) in December 2016. Several undercover conversations were recorded with Maldonado who was discussing shipping large amounts of cash in structured deposits to entities in Mexico. In multiple conversations Maldonado acknowledged working with drug trafficking organizations who used her services to ship money to Mexico for a fee. Maldonado repeatedly laundered more than $200,000 for undercover agents believing it was drug proceeds. In one instance, money was delivered to Maldonado in locations away from her business, including the parking lot of the Tulalip Casino.
Defendant Anthony Bustos was originally arrested by law enforcement in February 2017, when he was detained following a traffic stop. In his vehicle law enforcement found more than a pound of heroin. Bustos is charged with possession of heroin with intent to distribute and money laundering for his activities with Maldonado. Garcia and Maldonado are both charged with conspiracy to engage in money laundering. Maldonado is also charged with one count of money laundering. Money laundering is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task (OCDETF) investigation, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved. The case is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement (DEA), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security (HSI), and the Snohomish County Regional Drug and Gang Task Force.