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Mexican drug exec sentenced for illegal oxycodone sales

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SAN DIEGO — The leader of a Mexican-based pharmaceutical drug distribution organization was sentenced Monday to 10 years and 1 month in prison by a U.S. District Court Judge in San Diego.

Eduardo Pena, 43, was sentenced for distributing more than $700,000 worth of oxycodone, according to acting U.S. Attorney Alana W. Robinson.

The sentence stemmed from a plea agreement in which Pena admitted that from July 2013 to December 2015, his organization distributed at least 55,813 30-milligram tablets of oxycodone to at least 92 purchasers throughout the United States, according to Robinson.

Pena also admitted that these drug purchasers would regularly purchase oxycodone without having a valid medical prescription, she said.

In his plea agreement, Pena admitted that he agreed and conspired with co-defendants Ana Karen Gutierrez-Anaya and Mayra Elizabeth Rangel Moreno to launder the drug proceeds from his oxycodone sales.

At the direction of Pena, the two women maintained bank accounts in San Diego to facilitate the movement, receipt, and laundering of Pena’s drug proceeds, according to Robinson.

Robinson said Pena’s client drug purchasers would pay for shipments of oxycodone by depositing cash or making wire transfers directly into the bank accounts.

According to Gutierrez-Anaya’s plea agreement, between Jan. 3, 2014, and June 11, 2014, she maintained accounts at three banking institutions and successfully laundered approximately $261,702 in cash drug proceeds.

During this period Gutierrez-Anaya never withdrew cash drug proceeds in amounts over $10,000, what Robinson said is a knowing and intentional effort to avoid bank reporting requirements.

Once in possession of Pena’s cash drug proceeds, Gutierrez-Anaya would transport them to Mexico at Pena’s direction.

Similarly, according to Moreno’s plea agreement, between June 27, 2013, and June 10, 2014, she also maintained four U.S. bank accounts for the purpose of laundering cash drug proceeds.

During this period, Moreno received and transported approximately $463,251 in cash drug proceeds to Pena, according to Robinson.

Moreno also knowingly and intentionally withdrew amounts that were only less than $10,000 in order to also avoid bank reporting requirements, Robinson said.

For their money laundering activities, the 28-year-old Moreno was sentenced to two years in prison and the 25-year-old Gutierrez-Anaya to 21 months.

The trio agreed to forfeit more than $724,953 in cash drug proceeds seized by the FBI, Robinson said.

This prosecution was the result of a coordinated Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation led by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s offices in Boston and San Diego.