Federal authorities arrested two Texas men following an investigation of an alleged drug ring that helped move drugs across the southern border and into the United States. They have since been accused of possession with intent to distribute as well as conspiring to launder money. As the investigation that led to their arrest was conducted by both the IRS and DEA, the charges that they face are federal.
Although apparently no longer active in smuggling, authorities believe that these Texas men -- both 47 years old -- may have played an important role in the drug ring in question from 2011 to 2013. It is suspected that, during this period, they may have entered Mexico to retrieve marijuana. They then allegedly transported the marijuana into Texas to be sold.
The accusations of money laundering come from what may have occurred following the sale of any marijuana. The proceeds from the sale were then likely returned to Mexico, although it is not clear if authorities believe the men returned it in person or through other means. At least some of the money was also allegedly taken to another area in Texas.
Allegations of drug activity are particularly serious, especially when the DEA becomes involved. A conviction on federal charges of possession with intent to distribute can wreak havoc on an individual's future and can put him or her behind bars for significant stretches of time. Even after being released, those who have been convicted may face continued impacts through the denial of job and educational opportunities. When dealing with charges such as this, defendants may be well-advised to carefully review all evidence related to the charges alongside their counsel before making any definitive choices concerning defense options. While fighting the charges in court may be an appropriate course of action for some, others can benefit more from a carefully constructed plea agreement with the prosecution.
Source: crimeblog.dallasnews.com, "Two Dallas-area men charged in drug ring that stretched from Mexico to Laredo to North Texas", Matt Peterson, Feb. 19, 2015