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Monday, October 24, 2016

How one drug cartel banked its cash in New York City

Posted by DD Republished from ABC News

 By Tom Hays, Associated Press
In this August 2013 surveillance photo provided by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Francisco Salgado and his sister Alejandra walk on New York’s Third Avenue in midtown Manhattan where authorities say they made multiple cash deposits at banks within a few blocks of each other as part of a Mexican cartel money-laundering scheme. Authorities say the pair entered seven different banks making cash deposits of just under $10,000, all from piles of drug money they were carrying in designer purses and shopping bags. (DEA via AP) Less

In the photos, Alejandra Salgado and her little brother Francisco look like ordinary tourists strolling the streets of midtown Manhattan. He carries a shopping bag. She wears a white dress, a necklace and a leather tote slung over one shoulder.

But the outings were hardly innocent.

Over two hours, federal agents snapped pictures as the pair visited seven banks, stopping at each one to make cash deposits of just under $10,000 — all from piles of drug money stashed in their bags.

Prosecutors say the flurry of modest deposits was one of the many schemes hatched by Mexican crime cartels trying to bring billions of dollars in drug proceeds back from the United States without attracting scrutiny from banking regulators.
Drug gangs in Mexico have managed to get resources amounting to billions of dollars. In the image, the cartel recent seizure Ismael El Mayo Zambada Photo Notimex / File

 The cartels collect much of their cash proceeds from the U.S. market much the way the cocaine and other drugs come in, by sneaking it across the border.

But using regular banks remains in the mix, said James Hunt, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration's New York City office. The trick is keeping deposits small, because banks are required to report cash deposits of $10,000 or more to the government. The benefit, he said, is that if investigators do catch onto such a scheme, less cash gets confiscated. The bagmen also often face less jail time.

"It's a little more time-intensive but it's not as heavy a hit if you get caught," Hunt said.
Before they went to prison late last month, the Salgados were paid to launder up to $1 million a month collected from drug wholesalers doing business with the notorious Sinaloa cartel, prosecutors said.

Investigators say Alejandra Salgado, 59, who has a Mexico City address and was in the U.S. on an expired visa, was supervised by a high-ranking member of the cartel.

Agents began watching her in New York after her name came up in an investigation of money-laundering cells in southern California, Michigan and Arizona being conducted by investigators from the DEA Drug Enforcement Task Force, Department of Homeland Security, the IRS and local agencies.

Details from the case files of federal agents and narcotics prosecutors provided to the AP offer a look inside how the Salgados operated.

At one point she had been a courier who would drive drug money over the border.

But later, she was assigned by cartel leaders to deposit funds into multiple bank accounts held under fake names, then write checks to a produce company in San Diego controlled by the cartel.

An undercover investigator wearing a wire recorded her calling the assignment a "hassle," but safer than her previous gig.

After her handler told her there was "a lot of work" for her in New York, she and her brother, a legal resident with an Alaska address, set up shop at a Manhattan hotel in the summer of 2013.

She preferred to collect payments from local drug dealers in midtown, rather than in their home territories in the Bronx or Washington Heights, for security reasons.

"Like a friend of mine said: 'This is a business for tough people,'" she said in a conversation with the undercover agent. "And it's all based in trust."

While under investigation, the siblings made at least two dozen deposits in amounts ranging from about $8,100 to $9,600 at banks located from the Upper West Side to Canal Street.

Following the money trail was worthwhile to "gain insight into the practices" of the cartels, said Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan, whose office prosecuted the case.
At Francisco Salgado's sentencing, his lawyer, Jeffrey Taub, portrayed him as a small fish in "an unfortunate situation."

The penalties for the launderers can be lighter than in bigger federal conspiracy cases. The brother and sister took plea deals resulting in sentences of 16 months to 4 years.

Alejandra Salgado's attorney, Robert W. Georges, said it's certain his client will be deported once she serves her time — a fate she's accepted.

"She's remorseful and looking forward to getting on with her life in Mexico," Georges said.
Prison and deportation probably wasn't what Salgado had in mind when she told an undercover agent, in a recorded call, that being a money courier was a nice way to make a living in a treacherous drug world.

 "I live in peace and I live tranquil," she said.


  1. Replies
    1. Bad hombres...wouldn't exist if Nixon hadn't launched the drug war.

    2. Blame it on Nixon....He also opened up the market to China.....Now you got a bunch of meth-head Sicarios runn'in around......Tricky Dick.

    3. Come on now. .the goverment is not all bad..but as to drug smuggling,they really hate competition.

  2. Easy!
    After allowing the "work" to proceed just come and pounce on the pocket!
    Just be cool while the trafficking gets done and away with murder and addiction, just observe and report.
    What are the güebos about "depositing in the banks" anyway? Siempre se los chingan,
    Pero ahi andan de calientes.

  3. Rumor has is it that in The Emerald Triangle of Northern Cali the banks are looking at deposits of over $3000 cash.
    That tells us about the level to which we are awash in a cash economy.

    With legalization of recreational use on the Ballot in Ca , not to mention a slew of complicated county by county measures , state regulatory laws, you can imagine WHO is AGAINST legalization.

    The Growers.........

    1. Ok good info where can I look this up online?
      -CDS nutthuger

    2. Read above GÜEY, ABC NEWS, by Tom Hayes, AP, (Associated Press)

  4. Should have bought Bitcoins.

  5. now she can live in peace and tranquil in prison

  6. Where's a New York mugger when you need one? It's because of this kind of mierda that I can't change more than $4000 US dollars per month into pesos at my bank in México.

    1. Acapulco is only $1700 a month, that you can exchange.

  7. not bad 2 000 000 a month or more!!

  8. Happens everyday in mcallen texas, I work at a bank. Same couple comes in same car make diffrent deposits multiple times a week sometimes a day. They say cdg is weak. Not here!

  9. Whats the status on la barbie?

    1. 6:06 Found his own beach, naked on the yard one hour a day.

    2. Haha dont think he is the type of guy you can push around

    3. 10:31 hell yeah, si se puede.
      entre más grandotes más pendejos.
      Remember when me and my Mongols MC buddies made the big tall fat arses they call theirself "the Hell's Angels" run crying for their mammas to canada? The HA event prayed and begged the Outlaws MC for peace and please help, but tacos Bowman Refused and the US government itself put him in prison on behalf of the HAmc...then the US gov denies all of it...
      The mongols are 5 feet tall, panzones, with little feet, the scary mofos.

  10. Why does that picture of cash say it is el mayo Zambada?

    1. Because he let them take a picture of it before they delivered to him.

  11. Hivis Try to get The News of two Mexican Killing in Troy NY.for Drug Money

    1. it looks like it was not cartel or gang related that was a rumor

  12. Changing the subject,maybe in Nov weed laws change and eventually in 10 yrs or maybe less,marijuana is gonna be the next best investment! Trust me! It's gonna be like alcohol..u have a lil money,invest it!


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