By Marc Ramirez
Federal authorities have charged a Mexican cartel boss known as “The Rock” and 27 other conspirators in a $10 million money-laundering scheme alleged to have been run through a Dallas western-wear retailer.
Court documents allege that Jose Valdovinos Jimenez, a territory boss called “La Roca,” conspired with his co-defendants to smuggle vast amounts of methamphetamine and heroin into the U.S., where the drugs were sold and the proceeds laundered and transferred back to leaders of the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion, or CJNG.
According to U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox of the Northern District of Texas, the Jalisco New Generation cartel is among Mexico’s most powerful and violent drug operations.
“Drug cartels like CJNG wreak havoc across the globe,” Cox said. “We’re committed to tracking the money and disrupting these organizations by attacking their bottom line.”
In a 38-count superseding indictment unsealed Friday, a federal grand jury charged the 28 with conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, as well as other financial, drug and gun crimes, including conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute heroin and possession of a firearm by an undocumented person.
The documents say CJNG’s sophisticated trafficking ring included drug-smuggling couriers, fortified stash houses, a multilevel dealer network and recrystallization labs where drugs were purified before sale.
At Jimenez’s direction, authorities say, mid- and upper-level dealers took drug profits to Yoli’s Western Wear, a clothing retailer in the 1900 block of South Buckner Boulevard, just south of Bruton Road. There, 23-year-old manager Ivan Noe Valerio and family members allegedly counted and separated the money into thousands of transactions transferred back to CJNG in Mexico.
Jimenez and Valerio face life in federal prison if convicted. Others charged include Valerio’s parents and sister as well as numerous individuals allegedly involved in dealing drugs, staffing labs and stash houses, and transferring funds.
Cox said agents seized about 1,500 pounds of meth, 175 pounds of heroin and $500,000 in drug money during the investigation. The case was run by the Dallas division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the U.S. Marshals Service and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, with help from the Midlothian police and the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office.
“Addiction to drugs has many different faces,” said Eduardo Chavez, special agent in charge of the DEA’s Dallas office. “In this instance, the addiction to money and greed has met its consequence.”
Suprisingly Yolis FaceBook Page began posting August 29 in regards to store sales.