FBI raids Wadsworth home in connection with money laundering, selling guns illegally to felons

By Drew Scofield

WADSWORTH, Ohio – The FBI descended on a Wadsworth residence early Wednesday morning that authorities say is connected to an investigation for laundering money and selling guns to felons, according to an FBI spokesperson.

The raid occurred around 4 a.m. in the 2500 block of Blake Road on the city’s West Side, authorities said.

Authorities arrested Francisco Flores, 39, during the raid.

Federal authorities also took 21 “illegals” into custody, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Flores has been indicted on one count of the transfer of firearms for use in drug trafficking, three counts of selling firearms to felons, four counts of money laundering and one count of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business.

Flores is accused of selling various rifles and handguns to individuals who would use them in connection with illegal activities, authorities said.

Between August 2017 and January 2018, authorities say Flores made several financial transactions to “disguise” money he believed were made from drug trafficking. Attorneys said Flores also used his flooring business — Flores Flooring — to “engage in the unlicensed transmitting of money.”

“This is a man who put heavy firepower on the streets for drug dealers, and also helped them launder their drug money,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said. “Ohio is a safer place with him behind bars.”

“Francisco Flores may be known to some in the community as a business owner but to law enforcement, he is known as someone engaged in dangerous unlawful activities,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony. “These actions will not be tolerated in our community. The FBI’s Northern Ohio Law Enforcement Task Force will continue to disrupt individuals that are a threat to our everyday lives.”

Baton Rouge man indicted for international money laundering in connection with drug business

By Rachel Thomas

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) – A Baton Rouge man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly aiding and abetting a conspiracy to distribute drugs, international money laundering, and other charges related to these activities.

Donovan Barker, 59, made his initial court appearance on October 25 and pleaded not guilty.

According to the indictment, Barker owned and operated several businesses (Quantum Information Technologies, Caring Partners 1, llc, Don Western Sky, llc, Life Positive Services, llc, and Healthy Life 1, llc.), which sold and distributed green tea extracts and herbal supplements, but was actually working with others to import schedule IV drugs into the U.S. in order to repackage and distribute those drugs to people who had purchased them online. Barker was also reportedly accepting payments from these buyers and transmitting money to others operating outside the country.

The Department of Justice says from October of 2012 to February of 2016, Barker received more than $4.6 million in payments from people all over the country who had bought drugs and other substances online. Barker reportedly wired a majority of the money to various foreign bank accounts in the Philippines, India, China, and Canada. Barker is alleged to have been operating a money transmitting business without the proper license and without complying with applicable federal registration requirements.

The indictment also alleges that on May 24, 2016, Barker knowingly and intentionally possessed tramadol, a controlled dangerous substance.

“This indictment demonstrates the lengths to which international drug traffickers will go to deliver drugs and the efforts my office will make to stop them. We are committed to eliminating the international financial network used by drug dealers to bring drugs to our country and launder their illegal proceeds. I want to thank our prosecutors and our federal, state, and local partners for their extraordinary efforts in this case,” said U.S. Attorney Brandon Fremin.

Barker is indicted on charges of aiding and abetting a conspiracy to distribute tramadol and carisoprodol, international money laundering, unlawful money transmitting, and possession of tramadol.