Colorado Women sentenced to Federal Prison for Money Laundering Related to a Denver-area Drug Trafficking Ring

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DENVER – Two women from Thornton, Maria Garcia-Paulino, 41, and Laura Iveth Trujillo-Solano, 44, were sentenced 24 and 72 months, respectively, in federal prison for money laundering related to a Denver-area drug trafficking operation, announced by the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado.

In February 2021, the names of Garcia-Paulino and Trujillo-Solano were revealed in a 13-person indictment for a conspiracy to launder funds obtained from the distribution of illicit drugs such as heroin, fentanyl pills, and methamphetamine in the Denver area. Between April 10, 2020 and March 31, 2021, the two defendants operated a series of transactions in a strip mall located at 88th Ave. and Washington St. in Thornton, Colorado, which included Fiesta Multiservices. The two would receive the payments from the sale of the drugs at Fiesta Multiservices, usually in significant amounts. To avoid suspicions and identification requirements, they would divide the money into smaller amounts before transferring the money to Mexico as this would also help them evade various reporting which is a standard procedure for large remittances imposed by money services.

According to court documents, between April 10, 2020 through January 28, 2021, Trujillo-Solano moved or directed the transfer of drug trafficking proceeds amounting between $3.5 million to $9.5 million from the business in Thornton, while Garcia-Paulino handled or helped in the transfer of between $250,000 and $500,000 of the amount moved by Trujillo-Solano.

“These defendants took part in a multi-million dollar money laundering and drug trafficking operation that was shut down because of excellent work by our investigating partners at IRS Criminal Investigations and the DEA,” said United States Attorney Cole Finegan. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to prosecute the people who run these types of criminal organizations.”

“IRS Special Agents are experts in disrupting and dismantling drug trafficking organizations by targeting their illegal profits used to finance their operations,” said Andy Tsui, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation Denver Field Office. “IRS-CI, our law enforcement partners, and the United States Attorney’s Office will continue to work together to eliminate this threat to our communities. Today’s sentence should send a clear message to others who engage in money laundering associated with narcotics, you will be caught and you will be prosecuted.”

Judge Daniel D. Domenico sentenced the two defendants, with Trujillo-Solano receiving her sentence on December 8, 2022, and Garcia-Paulino being sentenced on January 10, 2023 – the last of her co-defendants to receive the sentence. One of their co-conspirators, namely Marduk Ernesto Ruiz-Leon, remains a fugitive.

Wall Street Prison Consultants helps Federal defendants and inmates with designations to Federal Prisons near their home, teaches Prison Survival, and assists with placement in inmate EARLY RELEASE programs.

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