Authorities identify suspects in drug, fraud, money laundering case

Authorities search a property in the 4500 Block of South Liberty Avenue in Tucson Thursday. The search is connected to a $2.8 million dollar money laundering, drug trafficking and fraud of state benefits case. (Source: Tucson News Now

SOUTH TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) –

Six Tucson homes were raided and five people were indicted Thursday in connection with a multi-million dollar drug, fraud and money laundering investigation, authorities said.

The state Attorney General’s Office said the accused are all family or friends.

The suspects who were indicted are Carlos David Nogales Sr. and Carlos David Nogales Jr., the accused ringleaders, and Jasmine Sandoval, Peter Jackson and Layza Sandoval.

Attorney General Mark Brnovich said the suspects mailed marijuana to locations on the east coast and had money deposited into the bank accounts from those locations.

The suspects have also been accused of receiving aid from Arizona DES and AHCCCS by forging applications that misrepresented their income, bank accounts and assets.

A total of nine DES clients involved are suspected of committing food stamp fraud totaling $40,000 and AHCCCS fraud of $102,000.

“The investigation began when the AZ DES Office of the Inspector General noticed inconsistencies in one Defendant’s application for public benefits and forwarded the information to the Attorney General’s Office,” the Attorney General’s Office said in a news release. “Special Agents with the AG’s Special Investigations Section discovered additional suspects and uncovered the alleged money laundering and drug trafficking syndicate.”

Investigators told Tucson News Now the raids were the result of a seven-month investigation by the state DES Office of the Inspector General, the Pinal County Sheriff’s Department and the Pima County Sheriff’s Department. A search warrant was also executed at a home in Casa Grande.

Marijuana was found in at least two of the homes, according to authorities.

The locations of the raids were: the 7000 block of South Prospector Peak Drive, 5800 block of East Klafter Road, 400 block of East Wilcox Lane, 100 block of East Corona Street, 6400 block of South Camino De La Tierra and 4500 block of South Liberty Avenue in Tucson along with the 18600 block of West Shedd Road in Casa Grande.

Tucson News Now spoke with one of the neighbors who saw it all go down.

“I was in my house making a sandwich and then I saw through the window they (authorities) pulled up in front of my mailbox,” said Carlos Gerrero. “I called my sister who lives a couple blocks over to stay inside because they were armed.”

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