Drug Enforcement Administration

Miami

Kevin W. Carter, Special Agent in Charge

June 30, 2020

Contact: Public Information Officer

Phone Number: (571) 362-2887

Five Tampa residents charged in $21 million money laundering conspiracy of drug trafficking proceeds

TAMPA, Fla. - A 37-count indictment was unsealed today charging five individuals with money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering.  If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison per count. The indictment also notifies the defendants that the United States is seeking a money judgment of $21,567,939 and forfeiture of approximately $167,008 seized from a bank account, which represents the proceeds of the offenses. .

CHARGED DEFENDANTS

Name

Age, Residence

Counts

Hector Rodriguez Mendez

44, Tampa

Counts 1 through 37

Virginia Garcia Moreta

33, Tampa

Counts 1 through 37

Leo Pichardo

60, Tampa

Counts 1-7, 12, 16-20, 23, 25, 29, 31, 33-35

Cleto Dominguez

38, Tampa

Counts 1, 8-11, 13-15, 24, 30, 37

Samuel Rivera

42, Tampa

Counts 1, 21-22, 26-28, 32

According to the indictment, the individuals used the cash proceeds of drug trafficking to purchase cashier’s checks in their individual capacities and through various businesses that they had created. These cashier’s checks were then remitted to various other individual and business accounts to receive, disguise, conceal, and distribute the drug trafficking proceeds.         

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration Tampa District Office, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, and Homeland Security Investigations. It will be prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.   

More information about this case can be found at https://www.flmd.uscourts.gov or https://ecf.flmd.uscourts.gov

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