5 Busted in Miami Drug Money Laundering Ring

Group bought pricey condos, sports cars with $26 million: Authorities

By Brian Hamacher
|  Thursday, Jul 14, 2011  |  Updated 1:20 PM EDT
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5 Busted in Miami Drug Money Laundering Ring

AP

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Five men are facing charges in what authorities say was a massive conspiracy to launder over $26 million in proceeds from a Colombia-to-Madrid drug ring by buying luxury condos and pricey sports cars in Miami.

Alvaro Lopez Tardon of Miami Beach, his brother Artemio Lopez Tardon of Madrid, and Fabiani Krentz, David William Pollack and Vincente Orlando Cardelle, all from Miami, have been charged in the alleged scheme, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida said Thursday.

The Tardon brothers, Krentz and Pollack are charged with conspiracy to launder. Cardelle is charged with bulk cash smuggling.

Authorities say the Tardon brothers and Pollack arranged for the laundering of proceeds from multi-hundred kilogram quantities of cocaine smuggled from Colombia to Spain. The cocaine was processed and distributed in Spain, authorities said.

The proceeds were collected and sent by Artemio to his brother Alvaro in Miami through wire transfers or by courier, authorities said. In Miami, the money was used to buy condos and cars by Krentz, Pollack and Alvaro.

Authorities say the scheme lasted from 2004 to 2011, and garnered the alleged smugglers an impressive portfolio of 17 cars and 15 properties.

Condos purchased with the drug money include a unit at 100 South Point Drive in Miami Beach, another at 1000 South Point Drive, four units at 1155 Brickell Bay Drive and another seven at 325 South Biscayne Boulevard.

The exotic cars purchased include a Bugatti Veyron, a Ferrari Enzo, a Rolls-Royce Ghost, a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, a Mercedes-Benz Maybach 57S, a Bentley Continental GT, an Aston Martin DB9, a Lamborghini Murceliago, a Lamborghini Gallardo, an Audi R8 and other Mercedes-Benz and BMWs.

Authorities say the scheme imploded when Cardelle was stopped at Miami International Airport in April on his way to Madrid with 21,605 euros believed to be proceeds from the sale of cocaine.

If convicted, Alvaro, Artemio, Krentz and Pollack each face 20 years in prison. If convicted, Cardelle faces five years.

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