Man Used Dealership to Launder Drug Money

By Staff Writer September 13, 2021

A Massachusetts man pleaded guilty in federal court in Springfield to using his Connecticut car dealership to traffic cocaine and launder money.

Miguel Betancourt, 53, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. U.S. District Court Judge Mark Mastroianni scheduled sentencing for Dec. 8.

Betancourt was indicted in November 2017 as part of a 14-month wiretap investigation into a large-scale drug trafficking organization supplied by sources in Mexico and spanning at least four states.

At the plea hearing, Betancourt admitted that, in 2016, he knowingly purchased five kilograms of cocaine, which he intended to distribute to others. Betancourt then used his auto dealership, State Line Auto Sales in Enfield, Conn., to launder some of the drug proceeds by providing two vehicles registered in another individual’s name to the source from whom he purchased the cocaine, as well as wiring $9,500 to a co-conspirator in Mexico.

The charge of conspiracy to distribute cocaine provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, a minimum three years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of up to $1 million. The charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, up to five years of supervised release and a fine of up to $500,000. 

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Last modified on Friday, 17 September 2021 14:21