Mexican National Sentenced to Over 12 Years for Drug Trafficking, Money Laundering & Illegal Entry
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Jose Velasquez, 38, of Mexico, was sentenced yesterday to 151 months in prison and five years of supervised release for drug trafficking, money laundering, and illegal reentry, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
Robert J. Murphy, Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which oversees the Charlotte District Office, and Ronnie Martinez, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in North Carolina and South Carolina, join U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.
According to court documents and court proceedings, from at least 2018 to 2020, Velasquez was a member of a drug trafficking organization (DTO) responsible for distributing bulk quantities of cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine in the greater Charlotte area and throughout Western North Carolina. On January 24, 2020, law enforcement arrested Velasquez on criminal illegal reentry charges. On the same date, law enforcement also executed search warrants at Velasquez’s residence and vehicle, seizing more than two kilograms of heroin, half a kilogram of cocaine, and approximately half a kilogram of fentanyl and methamphetamine. As described in court documents, in addition to trafficking narcotics, Velasquez laundered drug proceeds to the DTO leaders in Mexico via money wires. Velasquez also used his boutique shop, Envios & Botique Rosita, located at 4801 S. Tryon Street, in Charlotte, to conduct his drug trafficking activities and to launder drug proceeds for the DTO.
Velasquez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine, money laundering conspiracy, possession with intent to distribute heroin, and illegal reentry of a deported alien subsequent to the conviction for an aggravated felony, that being fraud in 2004 and larceny from the person in 2009.
Velasquez is currently in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. Velasquez will also be subject to deportation proceedings upon the completion of his federal sentence.
The DEA and HSI led the investigation, which is the result of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles criminal organizations using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
The DEA encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.JustThinkTwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com, www.CampusDrugPrevention.gov, and www.dea.gov . Also follow DEA Atlanta via Twitter at @DEAATLANTADiv.