Texas Western Wear Store Involved In $10M Drug Cartel Scheme
This is one of those stories that proves you never know what is really going on behind the scenes. According to BorderReport.com, a Dallas area western wear store was involved in a $10 million drug money laundering scheme. The money was drug profits for the Jalisco cartel. A Justice Department investigation has charged 28 people in the drug trafficking ring.
Jose Valdovinos Jimenez (who went by the alias “La Roca”), along with 27 other co-defendants, are charged with smuggling meth and heroin in from Mexico, distributing the product in North Texas, laundering the money through the western wear store, and sending the money back to the Jalisco New Generation Cartel.
After a raid in March in California, agents set out on a 6-month investigation to take down the cartel. Jimenez was identified as the head of the "plaza", which is a term used to identify a territory. He ran the operation through North Texas as a way to limit losses from police raids. Jimenez used couriers to bring the drugs across the border, then had set up laboratories to prepare the drugs for sale. They set up fortified stash houses for storage and created a vast dealer network. From there, the profits of the drug sales were pushed through Yoli's Western Wear store on Buckner Boulevard in Dallas. The manager of the store, Ivan Noe Valerio, along with his family, would count the money and then send it back to the cartel bosses in Mexico.
Throughout the investigation, federal agents seized $500,000 in cash, 80 kilograms of heroin, and 700 kilograms of methamphetamine. The charges against the defendants include conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute heroin, and possession of a firearm by an undocumented immigrant.
Sounds like a plot from Breaking Bad.