Former Passaic County Man Admits Laundering Drug Proceeds

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Money Hanging On a Clothesline. The symbol of offshore investments, financial crimes and money laundering.

NEWARK, N.J. – A former Passaic County, New Jersey, man today admitted his role in a large international money laundering conspiracy, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Gilberto Martinez, 33, formerly of Clifton, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti to a criminal information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. 

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

In 2016 and 2017, Martinez laundered over $1 million in cash drug proceeds on behalf of a large-scale money laundering organization by purchasing, or directing others to purchase, cashier’s checks with the illegal drug proceeds. The checks were made payable to individuals and companies specified by the leaders of the money laundering organization. By converting the drug proceeds to cashier’s checks, Martinez and his conspirators tried to hide the source of the illegal cash and avoid scrutiny by law enforcement and banks. 

The charge of money laundering conspiracy carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or twice the amount involved in the offense, whichever is greater. Sentencing is scheduled for June 24, 2022.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents and task force officers of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, New Jersey Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson and the Santo Domingo Country Office, under the supervision of Special Agent in Charge Renita D. Foster; special agents and task force officers of IRS – Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Montanez; the Morristown, New Jersey, police department, under the direction of Acting Police Chief Darnell Richardson; the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Superintendent Colonel Patrick J. Callahan; the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, led by Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin; and the Direccion Nacional de Control de Drogas (the Dominican Republic National Drug Directorate) with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan M. Peck of the Asset Recovery and Money Laundering Unit in Newark.

This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.