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Mauricio Sánchez Garza, financial operator to cartel godfathers pleads guilty

October 22, 2016  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Mauricio Sánchez Garza, financial operator to cartel godfathers pleads guilty

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Mauricio Sánchez Garza, a top financial operator for the Sinaloa Cartel — who once attempted to invest in Mel Gibson’s prequel to “The Passion of the Christ,” pleaded guilty in a money laundering and extortion conspiracy case in San Antonio Federal Court.

In an announcement, federal prosecutors said that Mauricio Sánchez Garza pleaded guilty to a conspiracy, which he attempted to launder money from Mexican drug cartels through an apartment complex in San Antonio.

The native of Guadalajara, Mexico was also accused of extorting a business partner for his stake in Mel Gibson’s film, MySanAntonio reported.

Before his arrest, Sánchez and members of his family were sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Dept. as significant money launderers for senior cartel figures.

Prosecutors said Sanchez used his business interests in Guadalajara to launder illicit drug proceeds for high ranking capos, including the Sinaloa Cartel’s top leaders Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán and Ismael “El Mayo’ Zambada, along with Rafael Caro Quintero, who is considered to be one of the godfathers of Mexican drug trafficking.

Sánchez’s lawyer has denied his client had any ties to high-ranking cartel members.

In 2013, Mauricio’s brother Alejandro Sánchez Garza, admitted to laundering money through the now defunct Barbaresco Tuscan Grill and Enoteca in San Antonio, modeled after a similar restaurant that the family operated in Guadalajara. He served a 2.5-year prison sentence.

Mauricio Sánchez, who agreed to face charges in the U.S. earlier this year, faces a 20-year sentence each for the money laundering conspiracy counts and the extortion charge. He’s scheduled for sentencing in January.

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