The Internal Revenue Service is helping law enforcement authorities crack down on drug dealers in the Southern California area.

The IRS Criminal Investigation division's contribution to the war on narcotics is vital but sometimes difficult to recognize, because the work of IRS special agents usually doesn't make the headlines. The long hours of tracking down and documenting financial leads aren’t glamorous, but it does allow an investigation to go right to the door of the leader of the narcotics organization.

A complete financial analysis and reconstruction of a drug organization's financial activity as it relates to unreported income on tax returns and money laundering can often be critical to obtaining the conviction.

The CI Narcotics Program's goal is to utilize the financial investigative expertise of its special agents to disrupt and dismantle, through investigation, prosecution and asset forfeiture, the country's major drug and money laundering organizations. 

The following examples of narcotics-related investigations were investigated and prosecuted by IRS-Criminal Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration, in conjunction with the United States Attorney’s Office:

Los Angeles

•    Christopher Lamont Crawford, 39, was sentenced on May 8, 2012 in United States District Court to a term of 12 months after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering.

•    Juan Alberto Espada-Morales, aka Saul Ruvalcaba, 32, was sentenced on April 30, 2012 in United States District Court to a term of 130 months after pleading guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and methamphetamine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

•    Lionel Alvarez, 33, was sentenced on April 2, 2012, in United States District Court to a term of 189 months after pleading guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine.

•    Jeremy Robert Edwards, 27, was sentenced on Jan. 25, 2012, in United States District Court to a term of 141 months after pleading guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and MDMA.

•    Marcelino Najera Payes, 41, was sentenced on Jan. 23, 2012, in United States District Court to a term of 6 months after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering.

•    Francisco Ruvalcaba-Garcia, 34, was sentenced on Dec. 12, 2011 in United States District Court to a term of 168 months after pleading guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

•    Jose Victor Ruvalcaba, 33, was sentenced on Dec. 12, 2011 in United States District Court to a term of 168 months after pleading guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

•    Linh Nguyen, 42, was sentenced on Oct. 24, 2011 in United States District Court to a term of 38 months after pleading guilty to facilitating a felony drug offense by way of a “communication facility” such as a telephone or a pager.

•    Richard Joseph Langlois, 43, was sentenced on July 11, 2011, in United States District Court to a term of 30 months after pleading guilty to conspiracy to launder monetary instruments.

San Diego

•    Karla P. Castro was sentenced to a term of five years’ probation on March 26, 2012 and ordered to pay $25,835.00 after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute hydrocodone bitartrate and filing false federal tax returns.

•    Jesus (aka Chuy) Berber-Macias and Octavio (aka Tavo) Berber-Macias were each sentenced on December 12, 2011 to a term of 121 months in prison for their role in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and conspiracy to launder money. 

•    Bexabet Jasso-Arciniega was sentenced on July 29, 2011 to a term of 30 months for unlawful use of a communication facility. 

Other examples of additional narcotics related financial investigations worked by IRS-Criminal Investigation can be found at www.irs.gov, keyword “narcotics investigations.”

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