Federal courthouse in downtown San Diego. Photo by Chris Stone

A Mexican lawyer who laundered millions in drug proceeds for the Sinaloa Cartel was sentenced Monday to eight years in federal custody.

Gibran Rodriguez-Mejia, 31, of Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico, pleaded guilty earlier this year to charges related to laundering $3.5 million by coordinating with couriers to smuggle the U.S. currency across the border to an exchange house in Tijuana.

Five co-defendants have also pleaded guilty in the case, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The defendant, who holds a Mexican law degree with a specialization in business and civil law, admitted that the funds he helped launder were proceeds from “multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin smuggled into the United States by the Sinaloa Cartel,” according to federal prosecutors.

After the smuggled cash was converted into pesos, prosecutors say Rodriguez-Mejia provided bank accounts into which the money could be deposited.

— City News Service

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.