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.”