President of Car Dealership Convicted of Money Laundering
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 04, 2012|
ORLANDO—A federal jury found Joel Torres (40, Apopka) guilty yesterday 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; bulletproof vests; and nearly $1 million.
Torres is the 11th person convicted as a part of this investigation. Previously, Eladio Marroquin-Medina (30, Apopka), the vice-president at JM2 Auto Sales Inc., pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute over 1,000 kilograms of marijuana and conspiracy to commit money laundering. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for February 14, 2013.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations;, the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the Apopka Police Department; the Orange County Sheriff’s Office; and the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Christopher LaForgia and Shawn Napier.