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Final family member sentenced in money laundering scheme

December 4, 2018

The sixth member of a family implicated in a money laundering scheme that worked with a larger Rio Grande Valley human smuggling ring was sentenced to prison Monday.

U.S. District Judge Fernando Rodriguez Jr. sentenced Veronica Ofelia Magallanes, 41, to four years in prison and fined her $457,000.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas, Veronica Ofelia Magallanes and five other family members used Money Gram, Western Union and personal Wells Fargo bank accounts between Jan. 3, 2007, and July 19, 2016, to launder money given to them, which they then turned over to smuggling organizations based in Mexico.

Deposits into the family’s accounts from around the world, came from Somalia, Romania, Eritrea, China, Macedonia, Canada, Honduras, El Salvador and Mexico.

After receiving the money, the Mexico-based human smugglers would bring undocumented immigrants into the United States, according to a press release.

In all, the operation brought in $1,296,268.41 through the conspiracy’s span.

The remaining family members that have been sentenced include Rosa Maria Alvarado, 37, who was sentenced to two years; Bertha Alicia Magallanes, 35, who was sentenced to one year; Paloma Garcia, 36, who was sentenced to one year; Jose Alfredo Magallanes, 37, who was sentenced to a year-and-a-half in prison; and Jesus Magallanes, 43, who was sentenced to two years and three months in prison.

mreagan@brownsvilleherald.com

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