Chief Money Launderer for National Drug Organization Sentenced
|U.S. Attorney’s Office March 26, 2013|
NORFOLK, VA—Alano Christobo Blanco, 46, of Newport News, Virginia, was sentenced today to 235 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for his participation in a complex drug trafficking organization operating between New York, California, and the Virginia Peninsula.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Mythili Raman, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge Mark S. Davis.
Blanco was found guilty by a federal jury on November 7, 2012, and convicted of drug conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, and interstate travel in aid of racketeering.
Blanco was charged, along with several co-defendants, in a superseding indictment returned on August 15, 2012. According to court documents and evidence presented in court, suppliers of multi-kilogram quantities of illegal drugs in New York, California, Georgia, North Carolina, and Texas distributed cocaine and marijuana to leaders of the long-running organization for further distribution on the Virginia Peninsula. Blanco was part of a sophisticated drug network that supplied the Thug Relations street gang, which was located primarily in the Aqueduct Apartments and Warwick Lawn Apartments in the Denbigh area of Newport News. From approximately 2004 until 2009, Blanco helped launder money from the drug sales in seemingly legitimate ventures and served as one of several couriers who would transport kilograms of cocaine and large bulk cash payments between New York and the Virginia Peninsula.
This case was investigated by the FBI Safe Streets Task Force, the Virginia State Police, the Newport News Police Department, the Peninsula Narcotics Enforcement Task Force, and Homeland Security. Assistant United States Attorney Eric Hurt and Trial Attorney Louis Crisostomo of the Organized Crime and Gang Section in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae.