When federal investigators came across kilograms of cocaine, heroin and fentanyl disguised as "sea cucumbers," their investigation led them to Juan Alfaro.
Alfaro, 52, of Hacienda, Calif., was sentenced Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo to 10 years in prison. He had previously been convicted of taking part in narcotics and money laundering conspiracies.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Wei Xiang said the defendant was part of a drug trafficking organization with ties to the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel once led by Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán and now led by Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada.
Alfaro's role, according to investigators., was to use “front” companies to launder over $12 million in drug proceeds.
The investigation resulted in 17 arrests and the seizure of $5 million in drugs, including 52 kilograms of cocaine and 17 kilograms of heroin.
Alfaro's conviction is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations and the Internal Revenue Service.