Peruvian citizen pleads guilty to role in transnational drug trafficking and money laundering conspiracy

 

Date: October 19, 2020

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

Albany, New York – Hilario Renato Mendoza Beltran, a citizen of Peru, pled guilty today to conspiring to distribute over 5 kilograms of cocaine and conspiring to launder the proceeds of an international cocaine trafficking organization announced Jonathan D. Larsen, Special Agent in Charge, New York Field Office, Internal Revenue Service (IRS)-Criminal Investigation.

Between August 2014 and March 30, 2016, a money laundering and drug trafficking organization based in Montreal, Canada, collected the cash proceeds from selling marijuana in the United States and cocaine in Canada. The cash was delivered to couriers in, among other places, Albany County, Ulster County, and Montreal so that the cash could be delivered, either by a courier or by wire, to cocaine suppliers to purchase cocaine. At least $1 million was sent to Chicago, Los Angeles, Peru, Mexico and Colombia; money was also wired to China. The organization then arranged for the smuggling of cocaine back to Canada, and transported some of the cocaine through northern New York.

Mendoza Beltran's guilty plea follows his formal extradition from Peru to the Northern District of New York in August 2019.

As part of his guilty plea, Mendoza Beltran admitted that between October and December 2014, he acted as a Peru-based operative for the organization by receiving and transporting approximately $472,000 in drug proceeds, and arranging for the delivery of approximately 140 kilograms of cocaine to co-conspirators in Piura, Peru. Pilots working for the organization then picked up the cocaine at a clandestine airstrip outside of Piura, and flew it to Guatemala, and then on to Mexico, where it was smuggled into the United States.

Mendoza Beltran's sentencing is scheduled for February 22, 2021 before United States District Judge Mae A. D'Agostino. Mendoza Beltran faces up to life in prison, at least five years of post-imprisonment supervised release, and a maximum $10 million fine. A defendant's sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.

As part of the same case, all of the following people have pled guilty before Judge D'Agostino, and several have been sentenced.

Name Residence Charges Sentence and/or

Sentencing Date

Iraklis Haviaropoulos Montreal, Canada Cocaine conspiracy > 5 kilograms
International money laundering conspiracy
January 26, 2021
Carlos Alberto Ocampo Garcia Cali, Colombia  Cocaine conspiracy > 5 kilograms
International money laundering conspiracy
 December 1, 2020
Matthew Fernandes    Montreal, Canada Cocaine conspiracy > 5 kilograms 87 months in prison
Jose Mauricio Ortiz Bolanos Cali, Colombia Cocaine conspiracy > 5 kilograms
International money laundering conspiracy
78 months in prison
Eduardo Nunez Serna  Chicago, Illinois Promotional money laundering conspiracy 57 months in prison
James DeSantis   Pompano Beach, FL International money International money 37 months in prison

This case is the result of the close cooperative efforts of the IRS-Criminal Investigation, DEA, including the Albany District Office and DEA offices in Peru, Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, and Worcester, Massachusetts; and HSI. These federal agencies worked closely with the Sûreté du Québec, the Canada Border Services Agency, the Peruvian National Police, and the Colombian National Police. U.S. Border Patrol, the Malone Police Department, the New York State Police, the Chicago Police Department, the Massachusetts State Police, and the Watervliet Police Department also provided assistance.

Mendoza Beltran was extradited to the United States with assistance from the Department of Justice's Office of International Affairs.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel Hanlon and Emmet J. O'Hanlon, and was previously prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth R. Rabe.