A former Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) special agent and his wife pleaded guilty Monday to all charges in a 19-count indictment unsealed against them on Feb. 21, 2020. U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Wilson accepted the guilty pleas in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.
While living in Cartagena, Colombia, Jose Irizarry supposedly held lavish celebrations together with bikini-clad prostitutes. He took first-class flights to Europe and brought along some Louis Vuitton luggage and a gold Hublot watch. He funded his life by stealing cash from Colombian drug dealers and engaging in schemes to make cash between Colombia and South Florida.
But court documents in these scenarios record four”co-conspirators” who worked together with Yabrudi in South Florida and Latin America. All of the four lived in Miami-Dade County, according to court records. “Co-conspirator 3″ was recorded as”a resident of Miami-Dade County, Florida, and Colombia who functioned as a Special Agent for the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).”
The Associated Press reported that Irizarry was the third conspirator and that Yabrudi had been working as Irizarry’s DEA informant.
(Witnesses said in court transcripts that Yabrudi helped organize cash “pick-ups” between drug dealers and undercover DEA agents.) Unnamed sources within the government told the AP which Irizarry is currently the subject of a criminal probe and that his alleged corruption strategy is one of the largest black eyes in DEA history. Given Colombia’s status as a haven for drug traffickers, the bureau believes its Colombian offices a few of the most important in its (failed) worldwide War on drugs. Irizarry was explained as a”celebrity” agent in Miami who awakened tons of high-profile arrests before he had been promoted and moved to Cartagena. . His second wife was also reportedly related to the Colombian mafia. But court documents allege the five conspirators would skim cash from Colombian drug sales in the USA, send it back into Colombia, and convert it into Colombian pesos using exceptionally favorable, black-market Colombian money-exchange programs. The feds said the group moved $7 million that way. In some cases, the group supposedly used a Miami-based cell-phone business to buy goods using filthy money and then export the telephones to Colombia to be sold for pesos. Prosecutors also stated in recent court filings that Yabrudi functioned with Irizarry to open bank accounts over Florida, into which the two deposited money from drug sales.
“It was also a part of the conspiracy which conspirators would and did obtain illegal drug profits held in DEA undercover accounts,” which the team laundered back to Colombia, a September 2018 government-forfeiture document reads. Prosecutors later added that Irizarry” supplied conspirators, including Yabrudi and Co-Conspirator 4, access to funds included in DEA undercover accounts” The other conspirators then allegedly paid kickbacks to Irizarry. Obviously, Irizarry started to trip up. The AP reported yesterday that the feds caught onto his scheme when the agent started brazenly stealing from the DEA and screwing up valid agency enterprise. In 1 case, an $87,000 wire transfer to some Cali Cartel drug trafficker went lost. But that trafficker was apparently an informant for the Miami-Dade County Money-Laundering Strike Force.