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Cali man sentenced to 12 years for role in criminal enterprise, money laundering

STAFF REPORTS


BUFFALO -- U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Jose Ruben Gil, 53, of Bell Gardens, California, who was convicted of operating a continuing criminal enterprise and money laundering conspiracy, was sentenced to serve 144 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Meghan Tokash and Wei Xiang, who handled the case, stated that between June 2013 and September 2015, the defendant conspired with others to sell cocaine in the Western District of New York. The defendant formed a relationship with co-defendant Darryl Williams, who agreed to distribute large amounts of drugs for Gil in Western New York and other cities. Gil, who was based out of California, requested that Darryl Williams and co-defendant Troy Gillon meet with him in California on at least two occasions to arrange for the set-up and delivery of illegal narcotics to Buffalo and other cities. The defendant began sending large shipments of cocaine via surface shipment on tractor-trailers, the proceeds of which were sent back to Gil via surface transportation.

On June 23, 2013, California Highway Patrol stopped a tractor-trailer in Barstow, California which resulted in the seizure of approximately $420,000 in United States Currency. The cash seized from the tractor¬ trailer was money collected from the sale of heroin and cocaine in the Buffalo area that Darryl Williams was sending to Gil.

Following Gil’s arrest in California on January 13, 2014, his associate, Herman Aguirre, continued the cross-continent drug trafficking operation. After Gil's arrest, the money obtained from drugs sales in Buffalo and other East Coast cities, was brought to Bank of America locations in Western New York, and deposited it into accounts held by three California-based corporations, including Triton Foods, Kamara Investments, and Fresh Choice Produce.

One coconspirator alone was responsible for depositing approximately $19,000,000 in cash derived from drug trafficking into those accounts.  Once the money was deposited, the principals of the three California corporations engaged in further financial transactions for the purpose of withdrawing or otherwise debiting the funds from the bank accounts to give to Gil and/or Herman Aguirre to pay for the heroin, cocaine and fentanyl.

The transactions were designed to avoid a transaction reporting requirement under Federal law and made with knowledge that the money involved in the financial transactions represented the proceeds of narcotics trafficking.

A total of 17 defendants were charged and convicted in this case.

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