(STL.News) – A 52-year-old man has entered a guilty plea to one count of money laundering, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
Edgardo Serrano admitted he drove $1,758,465 in proceeds from the sale of illegal narcotics from Florida to the Rio Grande Valley. He is originally from New Boston, Michigan, but now resides in Miami, Florida.
The investigation revealed trucks would pick up cocaine from South Texas to be driven to Florida for illegal sale. Drivers like Serrano would then return to the Rio Grande Valley with the illegal drug proceeds for delivery into Mexico to drug cartel members.
Authorities discovered Serrano in Hidalgo County April 17 with drug money secreted in his semi-tractor-trailer.
As part of the plea today, Serrano agreed to forfeit the $1,758,465 as illegal money obtained from the sale of cocaine.
U.S. District Judge Fernando Rodriguez Jr. accepted the plea and set sentencing for Feb. 9, 2021. At that time, he faces up to 20 years in prison and a possible $500,000 fine. He was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations Drug Enforcement Administration and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives jointly conducted the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation titled La Familia Tradicion. Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Betancourt is prosecuting the case.
OCDETF is the largest anti-crime task force in the country. Its mission is to disrupt and dismantle the most significant drug trafficking and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States through prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency task forces that leverage the authorities and expertise of federal, state and local law enforcement.