Guilty plea in Calif drug tunnel conspiracy
San Francisco Chronicle | September 18, 2012
SAN DIEGO (AP) — A Calexico man has pleaded guilty to a money laundering conspiracy charge for using illicit proceeds to build a cross-border tunnel.
Ricardo Rosales-Rafael entered his plea Monday in a San Diego courtroom. He faces up to 20 years in prison when he’s scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 3.
Rosales-Rafael admitted in his plea agreement that he received about $340,000 he believed came from either drugs or weapons trafficking to pay for the rental of a large warehouse near the international border in Calexico.
Court documents show that Rosales-Rafael was approached by his son-in-law nearly two years ago with a plan to open a business called Baja Bikes in order to launder money.
Last year, federal agents found an unfinished tunnel inside the warehouse along with sophisticated drilling and digging equipment.
Tags: Baja Bikes, Calexico, cross-border tunnel, drug tunnel, money-laundering, Ricardo Rosales-Rafael, san diego