Peruvian Citizen Pleads Guilty to Role in Transnational Drug Trafficking and Money Laundering Conspiracy | USAO-NDNY

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Hilario Renato Mendoza Beltran, age 47, and a citizen of Peru, pled guilty today to conspiring to distribute over 5 kilograms of cocaine and conspiring to launder the proceeds of an international cocaine trafficking organization.

The announcement was made by Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon; Ray Donovan, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), New York Division; Jonathan D. Larsen, Special Agent in Charge, New York Field Office, Internal Revenue Service (IRS)-Criminal Investigation; and Kevin Kelly, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Buffalo Field Office.

Between August 2014 and March 30, 2016, a money laundering and drug trafficking organization based in Montreal, Canada, collected the cash proceeds from selling marijuana in the United States and cocaine in Canada.  The cash was delivered to couriers in, among other places, Albany County, Ulster County, and Montreal so that the cash could be delivered, either by a courier or by wire, to cocaine suppliers to purchase cocaine.  At least $1 million was sent to Chicago, Los Angeles, Peru, Mexico and Colombia; money was also wired to China.  The organization then arranged for the smuggling of cocaine back to Canada, and transported some of the cocaine through northern New York.

Mendoza Beltran’s guilty plea follows his formal extradition from Peru to the Northern District of New York in August 2019.

As part of his guilty plea, Mendoza Beltran admitted that between October and December 2014, he acted as a Peru-based operative for the organization by receiving and transporting approximately $472,000 in drug proceeds, and arranging for the delivery of approximately 140 kilograms of cocaine to co-conspirators in Piura, Peru.  Pilots working for the organization then picked up the cocaine at a clandestine airstrip outside of Piura, and flew it to Guatemala, and then on to Mexico, where it was smuggled into the United States.

Mendoza Beltran’s sentencing is scheduled for February 22, 2021 before United States District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino.  Mendoza Beltran faces up to life in prison, at least 5 years of post-imprisonment supervised release, and a maximum $10 million fine.  A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.

As part of the same case, all of the following people have pled guilty before Judge D’Agostino, and several have been sentenced.

 

Name

Age

Residence

Charges

Sentence and/or Sentencing Date

Iraklis Haviaropoulos

43

Montreal, Canada

Cocaine conspiracy
> 5 kilograms

 

International money laundering conspiracy

January 26, 2021

Carlos Alberto Ocampo Garcia

58

Cali, Colombia

Cocaine conspiracy
> 5 kilograms

 

International money laundering conspiracy

December 1, 2020

Matthew Fernandes

37

Montreal, Canada

Cocaine conspiracy
> 5 kilograms

 

87 months in prison

Jose Mauricio Ortiz Bolanos

32

Cali, Colombia

Cocaine conspiracy
> 5 kilograms

 

International money laundering conspiracy

78 months in prison

Eduardo Nunez Serna

46

Chicago, Illinois

Promotional money laundering conspiracy

57 months in prison

James DeSantis

58

Pompano Beach, Florida

International money laundering conspiracy

37 months in prison

 

This case is the result of the close cooperative efforts of the DEA, including the Albany District Office and DEA offices in Peru, Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, and Worcester, Massachusetts; IRS-Criminal Investigation and HSI.  These federal agencies worked closely with the Sûreté du Québec, the Canada Border Services Agency, the Peruvian National Police, and the Colombian National Police.  U.S. Border Patrol, the Malone Police Department, the New York State Police, the Chicago Police Department, the Massachusetts State Police, and the Watervliet Police Department also provided assistance.

Mendoza Beltran was extradited to the United States with assistance from the Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel Hanlon and Emmet J. O’Hanlon, and was previously prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth R. Rabe.

 

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Author: Editor
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