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DEA arrest Florida man in drug distribution, money laundering operation tied to Mexican drug cartel operatives in Arizona

June 6, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
DEA arrest Florida man in drug distribution, money laundering operation tied to Mexican drug cartel operatives in Arizona

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Federal officials said a Florida man, who was arrested Friday, distributed drugs in Volusia County and then transferred the funds to a Mexican drug cartel in Arizona.

Wilfredo Arroyo and an associate, Patricia Catron, carried out the drug operation in Volusia and the Central Florida area between Nov.ember 2015 and October 2016.

Arroyo was charged with conspiring to traffic 25 pounds or more of marijuana, conspiring to launder money of $100,000 or more, and the illegal use of a two-way communication device to promote the commission of a felony. Arroyo remains at the Volusia County Branch

According to the News Journal-Online, Arroyo remains at the Volusia County Branch Jail without bail.

Reports indicate that the FBI’s Safe Street Task Force, which includes an investigator from the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, asked Volusia and federal judges to grant permission to intercept the suspects’ phone calls from members of the Mexican drug cartel.

Wilson Arroyo

Court documents did not identify the particular gang affiliation, but U.S. Drug Enforcement records name the infamous Sinaloa Mexican Drug Cartel as the dominant organization in Central Florida.

Task force investigators intercepted to phone calls from Arroyo and Catron between September and October 2016 as they discussed with Josue Hernandez, who guided them to Arizona, transporting cash believed to be the profits from drug sales.

Hernandez was taken into custody in October 2016 in Lake County and confessed that he and Arroyo were involved in a long-term marijuana trafficking enterprise that exported hundreds of pounds of marijuana from Mexico to Central Florida.

Hernandez also stated he and his associates organized the return of over $100,000 in cash — the profits from marijuana sales to the drug cartel.

Agents investigating Arroyo and Catron carried out a search warrant at Arroyo’s home in DeLand and recovered 42 pounds of marijuana and pieces of metal containers similar to those used by Hernandez to ship marijuana.

Agents also discovered a buried freezer used to store drugs.

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