Los Angeles Man Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison for Laundering Over $15 Million for Drug Traffickers

By Jace Dela Cruz

Jul 09, 2024 09:21 AM EDT

A Los Angeles man was sentenced to four years in prison for his role in laundering over $15.5 million for international drug traffickers. The US Attorney's Office for the Central District of California announced this on Monday. 

Money Dollars

(Photo : S K from Pixabay)

Los Angeles Man Gets Convicted for Money Laundering

Gustavo Adolfo Aldana-Martinez, 57, of Pico Rivera, received his sentence from US District Judge Gary Klausner, who also imposed a $25,000 fine. After a three-day trial in December 2021, a jury convicted Aldana-Martinez of one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments.

The investigation found that Aldana-Martinez accepted wire transfers of what he thought came from drug trafficking but turned out to be funds from an account run by Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents. Nearly $300,000 was transferred to a bank account under his fictitious business. 

READ NEXT: 2 New York Men Charged With Money Laundering in Illinois After Traffic Stop Reveals $250,000 Hidden in Car Flooring

Los Angeles Man Laundered $15.5 Million

Aldana-Martinez made several wire transfers to unrelated companies to purchase electronic goods, which were subsequently shipped to Colombia and Mexico, where these items were sold to generate funds for the drug traffickers.

According to the investigation, from 2015 to 2017, Aldana-Martinez was involved in laundering approximately $15.5 million. Daniel Shaun Zilke, known as "The Englishman," and Jeffrey Mark Thompson, referred to as "The Cowboy," are also implicated in the case.

Zilke was allegedly the leader of the money laundering ring, while Thompson utilized his charity's bank account to launder proceeds. The two men have admitted guilt and will be sentenced in the coming months. Another defendant, Juan Rachid Dergal-Zulbaran, remains a fugitive. 

READ MORE: Singapore Seized Over $4 Billion in Dirty Money From Criminal, Money Laundering Activities Since 2019

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