FBI agents arrested a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent and his wife on charges they allegedly laundered millions of dollars for a Colombian drug cartel. Prosecutors allege the couple used the agent’s position and influence to divert millions in drug proceeds from the DEA to their own personal use, including the purchase of expensive vehicles, jewelry, and vacation homes.
A federal indictment, attached below, obtained from court records of the U.S. District of Puerto Rico states that beginning in early 2011, Agent Irizarry began to siphon off drug proceeds seized in his undercover capacity. Those proceeds would eventually be transferred to his wife, Nathalia Gomez-Irizarry, according to the indictment.
The first incident involved the seizure of $19,000 in drug proceeds confiscated in New York City. Additional seizures grew to a $932,400 in August in Mexico City followed by $400,000 in October in Houston.
The indictment alleges that Irizarry “caused DEA personnel to unwittingly wire transfer a portion of the drug proceeds to certain bank accounts that were only known to Irizarry and his co-conspirators.”
The indictment states that Irizarry had DEA personnel transfer $55,000 of the $400,000 seized in Houston to a bank account controlled by the government’s witness. The witness then gave Gomez at least $6,000 in a personal check deposited to an account controlled by the couple. The couple then allegedly used the money to make a down payment on a $66,925 BMW X5 SUV.
In October 2013, the indictment states Irizarry picked up more than $1,000,000 in drug proceeds in his capacity as an undercover agent. The defendant then caused more than half of that to be transferred to a bank account controlled by the defendant and Witness 2. The witness then transferred approximately $43,000 to Gomez and Irizarry.
The indictment continues, detailing the transfer of millions of dollars in drug proceeds for their own use and that of their conspirators. It also details the lavish spending of the proceeds on expensive vehicles and other gifts.
In January 2015, the defendants allegedly utilized the stolen proceeds to purchase a home in Cartagena, Colombia for approximately $767,000. The co-conspirators also transferred money to family members. One of the co-conspirators allegedly used some of the money to purchase a brand new Lamborghini Huracan Spyder valued at more than $300,000.
The lavish spending continued with other purchases of expensive vehicles and homes.
The 30-page indictment contains a total of 19 charges including Aggravated Identity Theft, Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Identity Theft, Bank Fraud, Conspiracy to commit Bank Fraud, Wire Fraud, and Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering.
“It’s a black eye for the DEA to have one of its own engaged in such a high level of corruption,” Mike Vigil, the DEA’s former Chief of International Operations told the Associated Press.
“He jeopardized investigations. He jeopardized other agents and he jeopardized informants,” the chief continued. “I’ve never seen a DEA agent charged with so many counts.”
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for the Breitbart Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.