BorderReport

Dallas western-wear store laundered $10 million in drug profits for Jalisco cartel cell, feds allege

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — The Justice Department has charged 28 people with laundering more than $10 million in drug profits for the Jalisco cartel through a clothing retailer in Texas.

The 38-count federal indictment unsealed on Thursday alleges that Jose Valdovinos Jimenez, a.k.a. “La Roca” (The Rock), conspired with 27 codefendants to smuggle hundreds of kilograms of meth and heroin from Mexico, distribute the drugs in North Texas, launder the proceeds, and transfer money back to Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) leaders.

During the course of the investigation, agents seized 700 kilograms of methamphetamine, 80 kilograms of heroin, and some $500,000 in drug proceeds.

The defendants face charges of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, drug, and gun crimes, including conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute heroin, and possession of a firearm by an undocumented immigrant.

“Drug cartels like CJNG wreak havoc across the globe, driving the spread of deadly drugs like meth and heroin,” said U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox. “We’re committed to tracking the money and disrupting these organizations by attacking their bottom line. By striking both the money and the drugs, we can more effectively impact the organization.”

DEA agents search a residential house during an arrest of a suspected drug trafficker on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 in Diamond Bar, Calif. In early-morning raids Wednesday, federal agents fanned out across the U.S., culminating a six-month investigation with the primary goal of dismantling the upper echelon of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, known as CJNG. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

Federal officials say Jimenez — whom they characterized as the head of the “plaza,” or territory — ran a compartmentalized operation in North Texas to limit loses from police raids. He and others in the organization relied on couriers to smuggle the drugs across the border, installed different laboratories to prep drugs for sale, fortified stash houses to store the drugs and had a multi-level dealer network at the street level.

According to the Department of Justice, mid- and upper-level dealers working for Jimenez funneled drug profits to Yoli’s Western Wear, a clothing retailer on Buckner Boulevard in Dallas. Ivan Noe Valerio, 23, who is the manager of Yolis, and his family members allegedly counted the money and sent it back through a money remitter to Jalisco cartel bosses in Mexico.

If convicted, Jimenez and Valero face life in federal prison.

Other defendants charged include:

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