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Family Sentenced for Money Laundering Conspiracy

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – The final member of the Magallanes family residing in both Brownsville and Pasadena has been sentenced to conspiring to run a money laundering organization as a part of a larger human smuggling conspiracy based in the Rio Grande Valley, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

All six family members had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder monetary instruments by funneling human smuggling proceeds through their bank accounts with various financial institutions.

Today, U.S. District Judge Fernando Rodriguez Jr. order the leading family member – Veronica Ofelia Magallanes, 41 – to 48 months in federal prison. The court also ordered a money judgment in the amount of $457,000.

Those previously sentenced were Rosa Maria Alvarado, 37, who received a 24-month-term of imprisonment; Bertha Alicia Magallanes, 35, and Paloma Garcia, 36, who were both ordered to serve 12 months in prison; Jose Alfredo Magallanes, 37, was sentenced to 18 months, while the court imposed a 27-month-term upon Jesus Magallanes, 43.

The Magallanes family members engaged in the conspiracy from approximately Jan. 3, 2007, to July 19, 2016.

They used Money Gram, Western Union and their personal Wells Fargo bank accounts to launder money given to them which was later provided to human smugglers based in Mexico.

The deposits into the Magallanes accounts were made in the United States and foreign countries including Canada, China, Macedonia, Eritrea, Romania, Somalia, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Mexico.

Once they received payments, the Mexico-based human smugglers would later bring illegal aliens into the United States.

This operation grossed a total of approximately $1,296,268.41 over the time of the conspiracy.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations – Financial Crime Unit in Harlingen conducted the two-year investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Schorr Dinsdale prosecuted the case.