Six plead guilty in money laundering, illegal immigrant scheme
Posted: April 25, 2012 at 5:11 p.m.
Six people pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal charges in connection with laundering drug money through two Springdale businesses that also employed illegal immigrants.
Reading from plea agreements over the course of several hours Wednesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Clay Fowlkes outlined how the Haro family worked together to purchase and sell drugs in southern California.
Under the terms of the plea agreements, the government will not require any of the defendants to forfeit property acquired through their illegal activities, though they are all subject to fines of varying amounts.
Each of the defendants face between 10 and 20 years in federal prison. No exact sentences were specified in the plea agreements. U.S. Magistrate Judge James R. Marschewski did not set sentencing hearings for any of the defendants.
Drug deals were reportedly set up on the phone by Manuel Haro-Gutierrez in Arkansas, and his wife, Gladis Haro, in Rosemead, Calif.
The conspiracy dated back to at least early 2008 and only ended in December.
Gladis Haro reportedly directed three dealers to sell cocaine and methamphetamine, then launder the money through several bank accounts, including those for the family’s businesses, Haro’s Auto Repair and Paint and the Rumba Room Nightclub, both located in Springdale.
Prosecutors could prove the drug operation brought in between $200,000 and $400,000, Fowlkes said.
The couple’s children, Manuel Haro Jr. and Jania Haro, were also involved in the family businesses which reportedly harbored illegal immigrants and paid them in cash.
Gladis Haro, Manuel Haro-Gutierrez and Victor Palicios , who was involved in the California operation, pleaded guilty Wednesday to money laundering charges.
Jania Haro and Manuel Haro Jr. pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting illegal immigrants.
Ivan Arnoldo Salan-Aguilar, who was also reportedly involved in the California deals, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.
A seventh defendant, Rafael Velasquez, who was reportedly involved in planning drug deals in Arkansas, pleaded guilty last month to illegally re-entering the United States.
An eighth defendant from California, Osiris Ivonne Depaz-Ramirez, also pleaded guilty last month to a money laundering charge.