NEWARK, NJ – Four Paterson men were among six New Jersey residents charged Wednesday for their alleged roles in a large-scale money laundering and illegal money transmitting scheme.

According to US Attorney Craig Carpenito all six are charged with one count of conspiracy to launder drug proceeds and one count of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business.

Court documents show that between July 2016 and January 2019, the defendants and other conspirators purchased over 1,000 cashier’s checks, which were used as a mechanism to transfer drug proceeds out of the United States. The checks were made payable to individuals and companies specified by money brokers working on behalf of drug trafficking organizations with ties to the Dominican Republic, Colombia, and elsewhere.

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The defendants are said to have paid a fee of $150 to $200 for each check they purchased in an effort to conceal the nature, source, ownership, and control of the illegal drug proceeds.

Each of the men faces a maximum of 20 years in federal prison.

Charged were:

• Felicia Almonte, 54, Passaic, 

• Erickson Checo-Almonte, 29, Passaic

• Julio De La Cruz-Acosta, 40, Paterson

• Willy Cruz-Bonilla, 22, Paterson

• Jordano Abreu-Diaz, 24, Paterson

• Enmanuel Nunez-Reyes, 26, Paterson


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