Apopka car salesman found guilty of money laundering

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A federal jury found 40-year-old Joel Torres guilty Tuesday of three counts of money laundering and 11 counts of failure to file IRS Form 8300 (a report required for cash purchases over $10,000).

Torres is the President of JM2 Auto Sales Inc., a used car dealership in Apopka. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison for each of the money laundering counts, and up to five years in federal prison for each count of failing to file IRS Form 8300. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for February 25, 2013.

According to court documents, Torres laundered narcotics proceeds for the Gulf Cartel, a drug trafficking organization based out of Mexico. Torres received this money in cash, and then sent vehicles back to members of the Cartel in Texas. He also sold vehicles to local Cartel members. During this joint investigative effort, law enforcement officers in Florida seized more than 6,000 pounds of marijuana, more than 70 firearms, including assault weapons, bullet proof vests, and nearly $1 million.

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