Cash Photo Source: TFP File Photo

Texas Human Smuggling Family Pleads Guilty To Over $2M In Money Laundering

Cash Photo Source: TFP File Photo
Cash Photo Source: TFP File Photo

Four Texas residents have entered guilty pleas for their roles in a conspiracy to launder money and a related conspiracy to transport aliens within the United States

Luis Enrique Moctezuma-Acosta, 36, Elizabeth Acosta, 52, and Keysi Fuentes-Gavarrete, 27, admitted to laundering over $2 million in monetary instruments. Scarlett Fuentes-Gavarrette, 35, entered her plea on March 26 to the same charge.

She and her husband, Moctezuma-Acosta, also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to transport illegal aliens.

All four are either related through blood or marriage.

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“In the heart of South Texas, where the borders converge, we confront the stark reality of money laundering and the smuggling of undocumented individuals,” said Hamdani. “From the distant lands of Honduras to the bustling streets of Boston, Massachusetts, this illicit network spans continents, but our resolve to dismantle it remains unwavering. By safeguarding against these criminal enterprises, we not only uphold the rule of law but also ensure the safety and dignity of all members of our community.”

The conspiracy involved a sophisticated network of alien smugglers across the United States utilizing commercial airplanes, tractor-trailers and various other smuggling methods.

An investigation began in November 2019 and revealed the smuggling organization brought approximately 300 undocumented migrants from the Southwest border regions further into the northern parts of the United States. The network spanned from Honduras to as far north as Boston, Massachusetts, with a heavy emphasis on smuggling Brazilian nationals.

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On March 9, 2023, Authorities executed multiple search warrants at the properties of Scarlett Fuentes-Gavarrette and Moctezuma-Acosta, at which time they seized over $1.5 million in cash. The locations included their residence and a purported car dealership they operated as a front business.

Throughout the investigation, law enforcement also seized approximately $2.69 million in assets and several luxury vehicles, such as a 2023 Escalade, 2021 Ford Shelby Truck, jewelry and several pieces of real property.

U.S. District Chief Judge Randy Crane will impose sentencing on June 6.

At that time, they all face up to 20 years in federal prison. Scarlett Fuentes-Gavarrette and Moctezuma-Acosta face an additional 20 years. Both convictions carry fines of up to $250,000.

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