Dominican National Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering

BOSTON – A Dominican national pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston to his role in a money laundering conspiracy.

Jose Ernesto Pujols, 47, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to launder money and one count of money laundering. U.S. District Court Judge Patti B. Saris scheduled sentencing for Nov. 12, 2021.

In May 2011, Pujols was indicted by a federal grand jury in Boston. Pujols was subsequently located in Spain and arrested by Spanish authorities in September 2019. Pujols was held in Spanish custody and extradited to the United States in March 2021.

In March 2011, investigators identified foreign banks accounts involved in a larger drug and money laundering investigation of targets in the United States and Colombia. Undercover agents communicated with Pujols and arranged a meeting at a restaurant in Woburn to pick up drug proceeds for wiring to these foreign bank accounts. On March 2, 2011, Pujols arrived at the meeting location and provided the undercover agents with approximately $100,000 in drug proceeds.

The charges of conspiracy to launder money and money laundering provide for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $500,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell and Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division, made the announcement today. Special assistance was provided by the Massachusetts State Police and the Bedford Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Neil J. Gallagher and Stephen W. Hassink of Mendell’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit are prosecuting the case.

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