Sunday, February 28, 2010

6 Rodriguez-Orejuela Family Members Indicted For Concealing Cali Cartel Assets

Photo: (L-R) Gilberto and Miguel Rodriguez-Orejuela brothers who ran the Cali Cartel

Siblings of the Rodriguez-Orejuela brothers indicted for concealing more than $2.1 billion in drug illicit assets

By H. Nelson Goodson
February 27, 2010

Miami - On Friday as a result of Operation Cornerstone, the U.S. Drug and Enforcement Administration (DEA) anounced a two (2) count indictment against six family members of the Gilberto and Miguel Rodriguez-Orejuela brothers. They were indicted for failing to disclose all the assets the Rodriguez-Orejuela brothers had generated through their cocaine smuggling operation. Federal authorities had agreed not to prosecute the children of the Rodriguez-Orejuela brothers, if they would disclose a list of various bank accounts, multiple businesses, luxury homes, financial investments, vehicles, properties, and jewelry worth millions.
In 2006, both brothers who ran the Cali Cartel were convicted in the U.S. District Court of Southern Florida after pleading guily in Miami for importing hundreds of millions of dollars of cocaine to the U.S. from Cali, Colombia. Under a plea agreement, they were each sentenced to 30 years in prison.
As part of the plea agreement, the U.S. obtained a forfeiture judgement of $2.1 billion against the brothers, representing the proceeds of the Rodriguez-Orejuela’s narcotics trafficking operation. The defendants Gilberto and Miguel Rodriguez-Orejuela agreed to disclose to the U.S. all assets owned or controlled by, for, or on their behalf and/or a member of their family, even if the asset was not derived from illicit sources, and agreed to assist in the forfeiture of property. 
In exchange, the U.S. agreed to remove the defendants from the Department of Treasury’s list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons, which is a list of persons subject to financial sanctions by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). 
In addition, the U.S. government agreed not to prosecute defendants Jaime Rodriguez-Mondragon, Humberto Rodriguez-Mondragon, and Maria Alexandra Rodriguez-Mondragon for money laundering offenses. 
"You cannot make an agreement, break it, and expect to walk away," said U.S Attorney Jeffrey H. Sloman. For failure to disclose all assets, U.S. Attorney Sloman charged the following defendants, Jaime Rodriguez-Mondragon, Humberto Rodriguez-Mondragon, Maria Alexandra Rodriguez-Mondragon, Amparo Rodriguez-Orejuela, a/k/a “Amparo Rodriguez de Gil,” Angela Maria Gil Rodriguez, and Ana Maria Gil-Rodriguez, with conspiring to impede the lawful functions of the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Department of Justice regarding their investigation into assets owned or controlled by defendants Miguel and Gilberto Rodriguez-Orejuela, in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Section 371. The defendants are also charged with making false statements to U.S. authorities regarding these assets, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001.
The defendents are facing up to 5 years in a federal prison, if convicted and forfeiture of more than $2.1 billion in assets.
This Indictment is a result of Operation Cornerstone, which targeted the infamous Cali Cartel. At its peak in the 1980's and 1990's, the Cali Cartel was responsible for distribution of a majority of the world’s supply of cocaine. The DEA credits the coordinated investigative operation, which resulted in multiple indictments to the following, Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, Miami Field Division; Jeffrey H. Sloman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Anthony V. Mangione Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Investigations, and Daniel W. Auer, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division.

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