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South Florida Man Arrested for Money Laundering in Undercover Sting

In Case No: 13-3516-Simonton, the Government filed a criminal complaint charging Raimundo Antonito ROCA Naranjo with money laundering in violation of Title 18 USC section 1956.

The complaint explains that working undercover, a law enforcement officer (UC) made a recorded phone call to a person known by the name of “Miguel”. “Miguel”, whose real name is Raimundo Antonito ROCA-Naranjo was known to be a courier who worked for “CALVO”, an individual known to the DEA as an upper level currency broker who has been suspected of laundering millions of American dollars while in the employ of a number of Colombian drug trafficking organizations (DTOs). This action was initiated on October 9, 2013. The officer worked under the guise that he could launder large sums of money which were the “would be” profits netted from an operation of this sort. The call’s main purpose was to discuss a deal to handle a transaction valued at approximately $300,000 USD which was to be picked up in Miami, Florida.

The UC was supplied with a targeted phone number to reach “Miguel” that began with a 786 exchange. After making preliminary contact Miguel/ROCA stated to the UC that he would return his call the next day. As assured, the call was returned on October 10, and during the course of the conversation ROCA informed the UC that he was in possession of $220,000.00 that was intended to be delivered to him, and he would call back to set up a meet when he was prepared to make the delivery. In the recorded phone conversation, ROCA gave the UC an initial address of 2067 West 76th St. in Hialeah. Upon arriving at the destination the UC again contacted the suspect by phone and was then instructed to drive his car across the street to meet and conclude the transaction. Upon doing so the UC saw ROCA who had previously informed him that he would be in a blue Volkswagen Passat, which would be parked in front of 2068 West 76th St., an abandoned lot.

Subsequently, the UC encountered and met with ROCA who then gave him a box. In the course of the conversation that ensued and the exchange of money, the UC questioned ROCA asking him the purpose of having him drive his vehicle to an abandoned area for the meet. The defendant explained that he felt it important to make sure that the UC wasn’t followed, as well as telling him that by doing so he was able to perform surveillance on him as he reached the given location from the original address that was specified. As the conversation continued, the UC then asked ROCA what amount of money was inside the box, which had already changed hands. He told him that the full amount inside was $220,000.00. Additionally, ROCA said that he expected to be receiving additional money in the sequence of the next few days. Ending their conversation, the UC advised ROCA to make certain to call him for any and all future “drops” as he would be the “go to guy” for all transactions.

One week later on October 17, 2013, the UC was again contacted by ROCA to discuss a second transaction of roughly $300,000 USD. The phone call was again recorded and indicated that the new pickup would take place in the Miami area. Later that day, a second recorded call was made to ROCA letting him know that the UC was in the Fort Lauderdale area and would be willing to travel to meet him only if he had the money prepared. ROCA affirmed that he did and would meet the UC at the same location where the first drop occurred. At that point surveillance was set up by the DEA in the same area where the first transaction took place. From the onset, they observed ROCA driving the same Volkswagen Passat, license plate number X77-8FX that was used during the first encounter with the UC at 2068 West 76th St.

After confirmation by the DEA that ROCA was present at the agreed-upon meeting place, the UC made another recorded phone call asking ROCA if he’d be willing to meet him in Miramar, about half-way from the previous location. ROCA approved of the change of the original rendezvous point and was directed to meet the UC at a Starbucks Coffee Shop which was located in a shopping plaza on the west side of the Miramar exit of Interstate 75. Throughout his trip north, DEA Agents shadowed ROCA, watching him leave the original location and following him to the shopping plaza which was located at the intersection of Dykes Road & Miramar Parkway.

Once ROCA parked his car and exited his vehicle, DEA Special Agents were quick to confront him. He complied when asked if a search of his vehicle would be permitted. The results of the search exposed a Glock 26 handgun with rounds of 9mm shells. An amount of approximately $210,000.00 USD was also uncovered.

ROCA, along with his Passat was then taken to the DEA Miami Field Division to be processed. Upon arrival he was read the Miranda-rights and approved waiving them, agreeing to speak with DEA Agents. After waiving said rights, he admitted that he was aware that the close to half a million dollars which he was originally in possession of was the product of unlawful activity.

After his admission, ROCA was placed under arrest.

In cases regarding money laundering, or any federal offense, it is imperative that proper counsel is retained to ensure an individual’s rights.

Michael B. Cohen, Esq., with offices in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach is an experienced trial lawyer with vast experience in federal cases as well as those that are levied by the State of Florida. Securing his legal expertise can be the best decision made for achieving the best result for a case such as this one.

Call Mr. Cohen at: 954.928.0059 or 561.366.8200

Aggressive defense of his client’s rights in Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties for over 35 years