Man gets 8-year sentence money laundering scheme

Miguel Salinas Salcedo pleaded guilty earlier this year, admitting he used two undercover officers to launder nearly $3 million.

SHARE Man gets 8-year sentence money laundering scheme
The Dirksen Federal Courthouse in downtown Chicago.

The Dirksen Federal Courthouse in downtown Chicago.

Sun-Times file

A man was sentenced to eight years in prison Monday for laundering money in Chicago for drug traffickers in Mexico.

Miguel Salinas Salcedo, a native of Mexico, was caught because two of the subcontractors he hired for nearly three years were actually undercover law enforcement officers.

Salcedo worked as a “peso broker,” collecting cash in the U.S. and putting it into bank accounts to make pesos available to the traffickers in Mexico, according to prosecutors.

The undercover officers accepted two dozen deals in the Chicago area from May 2019 through September 2021, totaling $2.9 million, though court documents allege they were offered 103 more jobs which would’ve added to nearly $18 million to that tally. The officers would be given code numbers or phrases, such as “on behalf of Emiliano,” when meeting for cash drops.

Prosecutors also allege there was evidence the undercover officers weren’t the only ones helping Salcedo launder money. Transactions were said to have taken place in locations including New York, Cleveland, Atlanta, Kansas City, Dallas and Baltimore — as well as at least $200,000 in transactions in Houston, according to what Salinas Salcedos told the undercover officers, according to court documents.

In sentencing documents, Salinas Salcedos was said to have talked about having “clients” he “wanted to keep happy” in order to keep getting more jobs.

“These weren’t just one-off transactions that the defendant conducted; he was in the business of laundering funds,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew C. Erskine wrote in the government’s sentencing memorandum. “The drugs that were sold to generate the funds at issue undoubtedly caused harm to individuals within the United States both directly and indirectly.”

Federal agents also seized $200,000 from Hillsdale, Illinois in September 2021 that Salinas Salcedo testified was money gained from business related to the drug trafficking, according to court documents. The 42-year-old also received about $45,000 in compensation for his work, which he is set to pay back in restitution as part of the plea deal.

Salinas Salcedo pleaded guilty to a money laundering charge in April. His eight-year sentence was less thanthe 20 years he could’ve faced; prosecutors had recommended a sentence of 15 to 19 years.

The Sinaloa, Mexico man is slated to have two years of supervision after completing his sentence — which requires, among other things, that he have no contact with the four other co-defendants in the case.

The Latest
Cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike said Friday that the issue believed to be behind the outage was not a security incident or cyberattack. It said a fix was on the way.
Cheng, who had been diagnosed with a rare illness with symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease, passed away Wednesday at home surrounded by her loved ones, her family wrote on Facebook.
Few people realize what a wide range of career and technical education programs the Chicago Public Schools offers, says guest columnist Lashaunta Moore, who learned broadcast media skills at Percy L. Julian High School in Washington Heights.
Woman loved her late parents but wants to clarify her fuzzy memories of inappropriate touching.
Three researchers analyzed data from a major national survey and found a significant increase in self-reported mental health issues since Roe v. Wade was overturned in 2022, regardless of gender, race and other factors.