GREENBELT, Md. — Three men were sentenced Tuesday for conspiring to distribute more than 1,500 pounds of marijuana throughout Maryland and to launder more than $1 million.
Billymir Mancilla-Brevichet, 28, of Oakland, Calif., was sentenced to 7 ½ years in prison, followed by four years of supervised release, and ordered to forfeit $278,618. Co-conspirators Chamron Thach, aka Sham, 30, of Silver Spring, Md., and Carlos Salvador Escobar, aka Esco, 30, of Arlington, Va., were sentenced to eight years and three years, respectively, for their participation in the conspiracy.
The sentencing of these three follows an investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Montgomery County Police Department.
"This case underscores the teamwork between HSI and the Montgomery County Police Department in dismantling a drug trafficking and money laundering organization," said HSI Special Agent in Charge William Winter. "HSI works aggressively to keep illegal drugs out of our communities, and to dismantle the criminal networks that profit from drug trafficking and the crime that surrounds it."
According to their guilty pleas and court documents, from March 2011 to December 2012, Mancilla acquired large amounts of high-quality marijuana from suppliers in California and elsewhere, and arranged for the transport of the marijuana by plane, car and mail to co-conspirators in Montgomery County, including Thach. Mancilla's co-conspirators transported at least 100 pounds of marijuana at a time by car to a storage facility in Maryland, where Mancilla arranged for co-conspirators, including Escobar, to pick up multiple pounds of marijuana for re-distribution.
When the marijuana was delivered to Maryland, Thach became responsible for redistributing the marijuana to co-conspirators and customers. Thach also received at least six pounds of marijuana every week by mail from Mancilla, which he re-distributed to his drug customers in amounts up to a pound at a time. Thach had these packages delivered to co-conspirators' homes and to a Silver Spring stash house.
Mancilla charged between $3,000 and $4,000 per pound of marijuana. During their participation in the conspiracy, Mancilla, Thach and Escobar conspired to distribute more than 1,500 pounds of marijuana.
Mancilla arranged to receive payment for the marijuana he caused to be distributed by having drug customers deposit cash payments in amounts less than $10,000 into bank accounts that he controlled that were held in fake names and in the names of fake businesses. Mancilla and other co-conspirators, including Thach and Escobar, structured the financial transactions to evade requirements that banks must report transactions more than $10,000 to the IRS, thereby concealing from the government large cash transactions by drug dealers.
Mancilla also had drug customers make payments to Escobar and other co-conspirators in Maryland, who bundled the drug proceeds together in amounts ranging from $10,000 to $100,000. Thach and other individuals traveled by plane from Maryland to Mancilla, Calif., with the bundles of money. Finally, Mancilla arranged for drug customers, including Thach, to mail drug proceeds from Maryland to him in California.
This money laundering conspiracy involved at least $1 million.
This Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christen A. Sproule and Mara Zusman Greenberg.