California Plane Broker Guilty in Money Laundering Scheme
SAN DIEGO (AP) — A Southern California airplane broker has pleaded guilty in a scheme to launder drug money and buy airplanes for use by Mexican cartels to ferry narcotics.
Vicente Contreras-Amezquita entered pleas Wednesday in San Diego to federal conspiracy charges. He could face up to 30 years in prison.
Contreras-Amezquita owned Aeropartes Baja and Vekve Corporation of Chula Vista.
In a plea deal, he acknowledged hiding the origin of some $3.6 million in drug money, arranging to deposit the cash in dozens of bank accounts in several states and then using it to buy more than 35 airplanes.
A co-defendant, airplane broker Hector Hernandez of Wilmington, pleaded guilty last week to conspiracy charges.
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