January 31, 2018
Renato Rodriguez, a Brooklyn transplant with working-class roots, wept as he apologized to a Miami federal judge on Wednesday before being sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison for his supporting role in a $3.6 billion money-laundering scheme built upon illegal gold imports from Latin America. “I just want to say how sorry I am to my family,” said Rodriguez, 44, who worked as a gold dealer for the now-shuttered NTR Metals in Doral. “I love my family very much.”
Rodriguez was arguably the least culpable of a trio of NTR precious-metals dealers who bought billions in illegally mined and smuggled gold from drug-trafficking organizations based in Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and Colombia. But Rodriguez waited until late October to plead guilty to a single money-laundering conspiracy charge, after his two fellow brokers had cut cooperation deals with the U.S. attorney’s office — and that strategy cost him a bit more time behind bars.