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Feds prosecutors charge Mexican socialite on drug-related bribery charges

March 22, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Feds prosecutors charge Mexican socialite on drug-related bribery charges

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Monica Roca Perez, a socialite from Mexico is in U.S. custody and faces money laundering charges for her purported role in assisting a former Tamaulipas governor transport millions of dollars in bribes and embezzled profits into Texas.

The case is part a larger plot where primary members of the upper echelons of high society have taken part in money laundering for corrupt officials.

In early March, U.S. federal authorities apprehended Monica Roca Perez in California on a warrant issued in Corpus Christi. The arrest occurred after a federal grand jury issued an indictment that charged her and several others with concealing illicit cash in Texas.

The case against Roca Peres is linked to an ongoing hunt for fugitive Tamaulipas Governor Eugenio Hernandez Flores, Proceso reported.

Mónica Andrea Roca Pérez.

The politician has been charged with money laundering and is a wanted criminal by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Under Hernandez’s reign as governor, Mexican drug organizations such as the Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartels operated mainly unbothered while numerous government officials accepted large bribes.

After her arrest, Roca Perez appeared before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in California who ordered that she remain in custody without bond because she is a Mexican national; has more links in Mexico than in the U.S.; and is a flight risk.

Roca Perez is the second defendant pointing to others who have not been apprehended in connection with the indictment; the other names remain sealed, Breitbart Texas reported.

The criminal indictment indicates that from 2008 until her arrest, Roca Perez had purportedly been transporting funds from an illegal source into the U.S. to hide the nature of the proceeds. Prosecutors are working to seize $800,000 tied to Perez and a residence in the border city of McAllen.

The Mexican socialite was ordered held without bond by a California Federal Judge

A tax records search of the home named in the indictment showed that the owner is Adriana Gonzalez, not Monica Roca Perez. Gonzalez is Eugenio Hernandez Flores’ wife, the former governor of Tamaulipas who is a fugitive by the Department of Justice.

Roca Perez was a socialite in Ciudad Victoria. Perez’s arrest occurred close to two years after Cindy Gabriela Apac’s arrest, another socialite, and wife of a director for the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

Apac pleaded guilty to money laundering and was released on bond until her sentencing hearing, which has been postponed multiple times since the original date of March 2016. Her next sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 2017. It is not clear if Apac is now cooperating with federal prosecutors in the other cases.

Under the influence of Eugenio Hernandez and his predecessor Tomas Yarrington, drug cartels worked with no problem as they received protection from state officials in exchange for bribes.

While both Hernandez and Yarrington are sought in the U.S on money laundering, Yarrington is also facing drug conspiracy for assisting the Los Zetas and Beltran Leyva cartels in accessing the Port of Veracruz.

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