Illegal resident sentenced for purchasing aircraft parts with drug money


Date: February 25, 2020


CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A Mexican citizen has been ordered to federal prison in money laundering conspiracy.

Abraham Barajas-Alcantar, who resided in McAllen, pleaded guilty November 13, 2019. Specifically, he admitted to purchasing three aircraft engines using $272,649 derived from drug trafficking.

Today, U.S. District Judge Hayden Head ordered he serve a total of 57 months in federal prison. Not a U.S. citizen, he is expected to face deportation proceedings following his sentence.

The investigation began in 2015.

Barajas purchased aircraft engines and parts with drug proceeds and shipped them to his business in McAllen. From there, he shipped the merchandise to Mexico for his customers who then used the parts in aircrafts in order to transport drugs.

Drug proceeds were sent to Barajas in the form of bulk cash. He also received them through the funneling of cash deposits via banks in which Barajas had accounts or those to which he had access. This scheme combined the traditional methods of bulk cash smuggling and the use of funnel accounts with trade-based money laundering.

He has been and will remain in custody pending that hearing.

The IRS – Criminal Investigation and Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth Cusick is prosecuting the case.