Drug Ring Kingpin Apprehended at Los Rodeos with 150,100 Euros Faces Ten-Year Prison Sentence

A man has been found guilty by the National Court after being caught in a drug trafficking operation and being part of a criminal syndicate while attempting to move 150,100 euros in cash from Los Rodeos airport in Tenerife to Barcelona.

Reputed as the ringleader of a gang consisting of seven others, he is known to have undertaken a significant number of trips by both air and high-speed train between Ibiza, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Seville, and Barcelona without any known legitimate employment.

He has now been sentenced to ten years in prison and ordered to pay a fine of 1.4 million euros, while the remaining gang members have received a total of 70 years in prison and a collective fine of 16 million euros.

In one case, another defendant faced charges for illegal possession of firearms, two were acquitted, the cash seized at Los Rodeos was confiscated, and the convicted individual’s accounts were frozen.

Different amounts of cocaine, totalling 160 kilos, methamphetamines, and MDMA were found distributed among them in various locations in Spain.

On July 3, 2020, during the Los Rodeos-Barcelona flight, 29 packages of 100-euro notes and another containing 102 notes were discovered in the leader’s luggage, amounting to 150,100 euros in total, leading to a tax violation investigation being launched.

The Civil Guard intervened, providing the man with 1,000 euros for subsistence during his time on the island until he was questioned by Customs.

When questioned about his occupation, he stated that “he works wherever needed,” often involving painting buildings. He claimed the money was his, intended for purchasing a holiday apartment in Barcelona, but failed to provide any invoices or documentation regarding its source.

During the trial, he alleged that the funds were a loan from a Dutch singer, to be repaid without interest, yet he could not dispel suspicions that it originated from drug trafficking.

Investigations confirmed that upon arrival in Barcelona from Tenerife, he made contact with a woman who has since also been convicted of similar charges, and was subsequently monitored by law enforcement for several months.

This surveillance revealed his engagement in various activities appearing linked to drug trafficking, involving the use of trucks, vans, and warehouses for storage.

Ultimately, he was appointed to manage the organization’s finances and oversee the quantity of substances for subsequent sale.

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