BROWNSVILLE, Texas — The man identified as one of the Gulf Cartel’s top money men on the Texas side of the border will spend 14 years in federal prison.
The sentence comes after 38-year-old Oscar Aguilar pleaded guilty to federal charges of international money laundering. In a recent court hearing before U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen, Aguilar received the 14 year sentence and was also ordered to pay $1,893,170 in restitution, information provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office revealed.
Aguilar, who is from Mexico but had been living in the U.S. as a legal resident, will be deported once his sentence is served. According to the information released upon his conviction, when Aguilar pleaded guilty last year he admitted that he had recruited nine friends and relatives to help him launder money for the Gulf Cartel.
Aguilar’s co-conspirators opened bank accounts at the Bank of America branch in the Texas border town of Brownsville and would send the account numbers to drug dealers in Florida, who would deposit their proceeds from the sale of marijuana and cocaine. They would then withdraw the money, keep a portion themselves as payment, and give the rest to Aguilar, who would collect the cash in bulk quantities to deliver across the border to the Gulf Cartel in Matamoros. All of the deposits and withdrawals were less than $10,000 to avoid having to comply with banking reporting requirements.
“HSI special agents often investigate complex financial schemes in order to disrupt and dismantle the ongoing operations of transnational criminal organizations,” said Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent In Charge Janice Ayala, whose agents investigated the case. “These investigations deprive the organizations from enjoying the fruits of their illicit crimes while preventing them from furthering the ongoing criminal enterprise. HSI will continue to aggressively investigate schemes that jeopardize the integrity of our financial system.”