Winthrop man sentenced to nine years in prison for cocaine distribution and money laundering charges


Date: August 17, 2022


BOSTON — A Winthrop man was sentenced in federal court in Boston on Aug. 15, 2022 for distributing over 15 kilograms of cocaine and for laundering or attempting to launder approximately $645,000 in cocaine proceeds.

Fabio Quijano, of Winthrop was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Leo T. Sorokin to nine years in prison and five years of supervised release. On April 8, 2022, Quijano pleaded guilty to money laundering conspiracy, money laundering, conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine.

Quijano worked with at least two other men—including co-defendant Jairo Agudelo, who previously pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 57 months in prison—to launder hundreds of thousands of dollars in drug proceeds derived from Quijano's large-scale cocaine trafficking business.

On June 26, 2018, Quijano delivered $135,180 of cocaine proceeds to an undercover officer posing as a money laundering intermediary acting on behalf of a Colombian money broker. On Feb. 4, 2019, Quijano's business partner delivered another $310,000 in drug proceeds to the undercover. In addition, Agudelo attempted to deliver $200,000 on Feb. 18, 2019, to the undercover officer, on behalf of Quijano and his business partner, when he was stopped by police. Agudelo later admitted that Quijano had given him the $200,000 to launder.

A search of the stash house operated by Quijano and his business partner resulted in the seizure of nearly four kilograms of cocaine, over $310,000 in cash from prior drug sales, a hydraulic kilogram press, drug packaging materials and numerous drug ledgers.

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; Joleen D. Simpson, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigation Division; and Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division made the announcement. Critical assistance was provided by the Boston Police Department; Massachusetts State Police; Revere Police Department; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Enforcement and Removal Operations; and the United States Marshals Service. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lauren A. Graber and Jared C. Dolan of Rollins' Criminal Division prosecuted the case.

This investigation was part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach.