MIAMI LAKES, FLA. (WSVN) - A Miami Lakes man will spend over 5 years in prison for money laundering after a police raid found $22 million stashed in buckets and hidden in his home.
Miami-Dade Police raided the home of 46-year-old Luis Hernandez-Gonzalez back in 2016 after a long investigation that started when the Drug Enforcement Agency received a tip about his company, Blossoms Experience.
Officers found the money tucked away in Home Depot buckets, hidden behind drywall. Police said it was the biggest cash seizure in the department’s history, and it took over a day for officers to count the money. Investigators also found a high-powered gun in the attic of the home, a safe with an additional $180,000 and marijuana seeds called “Superchunk” and “Chernobyl.”
Officials believe much of his fortune came from his involvement with marijuana traffickers in Tennessee. Police finally raided his business after wiretaps revealed Hernandez-Gonzalez sharing tips on how to grow marijuana.
Hernandez-Gonzalez was initially charged in state criminal court for marijuana trafficking and money laundering, but was then federally indicted after U.S. Postal Inspection agents discovered suspicious bank deposits, the Miami Herald reports.
According to the Department of Justice, Hernandez-Gonzalez knowingly made deposits and purchased money orders with $17.7 million from 2010 to 2016, staggering the deposits with the intent to avoid the Department of Treasury Currency Transaction Report filing requirement.
“Those who seek to deceptively circumvent established financial reporting requirements will be called to pay for their misdeeds, by forfeiting the monies acquired through their illicit conduct,” said U.S. Attorney Benjamin Greenberg in a statement.
In addition to his 65-month prison sentence, Hernandez-Gonzalez must forfeit $18 million that was seized by police.
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