Filed Under:  Arizona, Crime, Drug Trafficking, Marijuana

Nogales couple charged in Arizona-Maryland drug trafficking conspiracy

July 13th 2012   ·   9 Comments

A husband and wife from Nogales were among nine people indicted by a federal grand jury in Maryland on charges that they conspired to distribute more than 2,200 pounds of marijuana.

Jose Valenzuela, 58; his wife Beatriz Valenzuela, 55; and their seven Maryland-based co-defendants are also charged with conspiring to conceal the source and ownership of drug proceeds.

The two-count indictment was filed in the District of Maryland was unsealed Wednesday after agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) arrested all nine defendants. The Valenzuelas were scheduled to make their initial appearance on the charges on Wednesday at U.S. District Court in Tucson.

The indictment alleges that starting at least in June 2011, the defendants conspired to transport marijuana from Arizona to Maryland, with the Valenzuelas running the Arizona end of the operation.

Prosecutors say the group kept their financial transactions under $10,000 to evade IRS filing requirements for transactions involving more than $10,000 in cash. They also accuse the suspects of using third parties to open bank accounts at multiple financial institutions to conceal funds that were derived from drug proceeds.

The indictment seeks the forfeiture of $950,000, believed to be the value of the cash and property involved in the conspiracies. The defendants each face a maximum sentence of life in prison for the drug conspiracy and 20 years in prison for the money laundering conspiracy.

A version of this column originally appeared in

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Readers Comments (9)

  1. John Branin says:

    My suugestion is to allow all of the Mexicans that do NOT support the drug trade, to come to the USA. I bet we could fill up a 20′ x 20′ room.

  2. Now see? I bet you profiled them just because their names are Mexican……..Shame on you….and just because almost ALL of the names of criminals in this country are MEXICANS……..again shame on you……………….

  3. Denise Karle says:

    So the ARE able to find and prosecute drug traffickers….but only Americans…none of the illegal Mexicans who are running drugs rampantly throughout our country?

  4. Tay Douglas says:

    Well get ready for more seeing as Odumbass is closing 9 border stations.

  5. in the past 3 1/2 yrs I have noticed that if it is good for the US Obama will kill it…if it is bad for the US he allows it…time for change…real change!!!

  6. Obama gave them the key to the kingdom…you would think their new president who takes office in Dec will try to regain control of Mexico…hell, we are giving them billions each year to “fight their drug war” IN MEXICO…yet we are not doing the same here.

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