Woman pleads guilty for involvement in large-scale heroin trafficking operation

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TULSA, Okla. (KFOR) – A woman pleaded guilty last month in federal court for her involvement in a large-scale heroin trafficking operation.

Sonia Hernandez, 55, pleaded guilty to money laundering conspiracy.

From January 2018 until June 2019, Hernandez knowingly sent drug proceeds to a Mexican source of supply while working at a Tulsa money remitter business. She admitted to using nominee names during the transactions in order to conceal her criminal acts and to further the drug conspiracy. A “nominee name” is used to hide the true recipient of illicit money. Hernandez will be responsible for laundering drug proceeds for not less than 10 kilograms and not more than 30 kilograms of heroin.

“Drug traffickers launder money as a means of concealing the illegal profits that they hope to pocket. This happens right here in Oklahoma,” said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores.  “Unfortunately, the illegal drug trade leaves American families devastated by addiction. This case is being prosecuted by the experienced prosecutors in my Organized Crime and Drug Trafficking Unit. They are relentless in their pursuit of justice and will hold accountable these peddlers of addiction.”

Hernandez was one of more than 30 individuals charged with money laundering, drug conspiracy and other crimes. The U.S. District Court says she was illegally residing the United States.

Her sentencing has been set for September 8.

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