(STL.News) A Fort Worth methamphetamine dealer was sentenced today to 262 months in federal prison for participating in a conspiracy to distribute drugs and launder approximately $275,000 of drug proceeds to Mexico, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.
Yesi Bastida-Carranza, 31, was sentenced today by District Judge Reed C. O’Connor after an extensive investigation led by IRS Criminal Investigation Dallas Field Office. Earlier this year, Bastida-Carranza pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess a controlled substance with intent to distribute and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
“Our office is committed to disrupting and dismantling criminal organizations that distribute drugs, launder illicit proceeds, and attempt to corrupt our society,” said U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox. “This case underscores the resolve of our law enforcement partners to bring justice against these criminal enterprises.”
“One of the primary missions of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Dallas Field Office, is to identify, pursue and dismantle transnational drug trafficking and money laundering organizations that prey on North Texans,” stated Acting Special Agent in Charge of the IRS Criminal Investigations Dallas Field Office, Kevin Caramucci. “We extend our gratitude to our federal and state partners for their assistance in taking down Bastida-Carranza and his family, preventing multiple kilograms of methamphetamines from entering our neighborhoods.”
According to a criminal complaint filed in March, Bastida-Carranza was part of a money laundering organizing which made at least 713 wire transactions totaling more than $660,000 of illegal drug proceeds sent to Mexico during 2016 and 2017. Bastida-Carranza executed at least 293 of these wire transactions by sending $273,181.30.
To execute the wire transactions, Bastida-Carranza and his co-conspirators, including his four siblings and others, initially used two “sender” addresses – one which belonged to Bastida-Carranza in Haltom City. As the scheme progressed, the money laundering organization used numerous addresses and phone numbers to avoid detection by law enforcement. Bastida-Carranza and other co-conspirators received a portion of the money involved in these transactions as compensation for organizing these laundering activities.
In October 2017, law enforcement executed a search warrant for social media accounts controlled by Bastida-Carranza. As proof that other co-conspirators made wire transfers, they sent Bastida-Carranza wire transaction receipts via Facebook messenger. Additionally, law enforcement placed a tracking device on Bastida-Carranza’s car which showed it visiting various wire remitter stores at the time wire transactions were sent by him to beneficiaries in Mexico.
Bastida-Carranza regularly used fictious names and false documents to execute wire transactions. He was captured on video conducting three wire transfers at a DolEx kiosk sending funds to a beneficiary in Mexico using an alias.
In March 2020, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Bastida-Carranza’s home where they seized approximately five kilograms of methamphetamine, approximately $50,000 of U.S. currency, and a drug ledger, according to a federal complaint
Investigators were also aware of another location that Bastida-Carranza frequented in Fort Worth. The homeowner at the address said that Bastida-Carranza had access to a shed located on the property. Inside the shed, investigators found approximately 15 kilograms of methamphetamine, digital scales, as well as drug processing equipment.
During an interview with law enforcement, Bastida-Carranza admitted to distributing methamphetamine at the direction of a Mexico based source of supply. He also admitted that he received beneficiary names located in Mexico, to whom he wired the meth sales proceeds and directed his other co-conspirators to do the same. Bastida-Carranza also admitted to wiring the drug proceeds he received to drug traffickers based in Mexico.
The IRS Criminal Investigation Dallas Field Office, Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, the Fort Worth Police Department and the Tarrant County Sherriff’s Office conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn Smith prosecuted this case.