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Hardworking family man gets 2.5 years for laundering money case tied to Chicago’s Flores Twins

October 15, 2016  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Hardworking family man gets 2.5 years for laundering money case tied to Chicago’s Flores Twins Pedro (Left) and Margarito Flores

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A federal judge has sentenced a Mexican native who was implicated in a money laundering indictment by the Flores twins, top drug traffickers turned cooperating witnesses, to 2 1/2 years in prison.

Alvaro Anguiano-Hernandez was known back in his native Mexico as a hardworking family man, a manager of a Subway restaurant in Guadalajara, who provided for his wife and two children.

However, two years ago, Hernandez was indicted on charges he helped launder hundreds of thousands in drug profits for the notorious Sinaloa cartel, including several top aides to cartel’s infamous leader, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

The charges arose from an investigation that started with the cooperation of the Flores twins, Margarito and Pedro Flores, the Chicago-area brothers who ran the Sinaloa cartel’s largest drug distribution network in the United States.

Following their 2008 arrests, the Flores twins agreed to cooperate and helped federal investigators build a comprehensive conspiracy case against Guzman and dozens of other ranking cartel figures.

On Friday, the 40-year-old Anguiano-Hernandez faced U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman in Chicago, who sentenced him to 2 1/2 years behind bars as a result of the Flores twins cooperation.

In a nearly empty courtroom, Hernandez was seen with his head down while his mother, who traveled from Guadalajara for her son’s case, sobbed and made the sign of the cross, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Gettleman noted that Hernandez lived a relatively law-abiding life in Mexico, where he had assumed the role as the family patriarch when he was a teen after his father had passed.

“I think you have a lot going for you,” the judge stated. “It’s obvious that your friends and family think the world of you and are disappointed in you. I don’t think we’re ever going to see you (in court) again.”

Hernandez has been in custody at the Metropolitan Correctional Center for almost two years and will be deported back to Mexico when he finishes serving his sentence.

His attorney, Joseph Lopez, requested for a sentence of time served, saying that his client fell victim to recruiters offering some easy cash. He also alleged that Hernandez never knew who he was working for, and communicated only with his BlackBerry to speak with cartel associates.

However, Gettleman ruled that more time in prison was necessary to exemplify the severity of the damage that the drug business does to families and communities, including children like Hernandez’s two young daughters.

“I don’t think people really think about it. … They consider it a victimless crime,” the judge added. “But it’s really not. There are a lot of victims here.”

The man pleaded guilty to one charge of using a telephone to assist in a narcotics-related conspiracy. His plea agreement cited that he worked for two years as a “high-level associate” of a cartel leader named only as “Individual A.”

He also allegedly helped with the cartel’s money laundering and narcotics trafficking, which included the utilization of wire transfers, “bulk cash smuggling,” and arranged bank withdrawals to transport money from the U.S. to Mexico.

Back in 2014, Individual A sent Hernandez to New York to investigate how investigators had managed to seize 5 kilos of cartel heroin during a traffic stop in New Jersey. In BlackBerry messages, Individual A told Hernandez to put pressure on another, who is only known as Individual D, to try and determine if the drugs had instead been robbed.

“Let’s see what impression you get from him, if the dude is a thief, or if it is true that it is being held [by law enforcement],” Individual A said in one message, court records revealed.

“Yes, I will pressure him and see how he reacts,” he replied.

Federal agents watched Hernandez as he traveled around the New York, visiting with colleagues, shopping, even eating at an IHOP. When he was apprehended in Atlanta during a layover on his trip home to Mexico, he had a bag filled with Disney toys for his daughters.

Before his sentencing on Friday, Hernandez apologized to the judge, U.S. citizens, and his family for his behavior.

“I could tell you a thousand things, but believe me I have learned my lesson, and I will change my life,” the man stated in Spanish. “I want to see my daughters grow up to be successful.”

“Forgive me and know that I love you,” he uttered to his mother in Spanish. “Cross my heart.”

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