Thursday, October 18, 2018
News Roundup

Accountant for Plant City drug trafficking group gets four years in prison

TAMPA — The nephew of a man who ran a multi-million-dollar drug trafficking organization out of a Plant City business was sentenced Wednesday to nearly four years in federal prison.

Alexandro Velasquez, 20, acted as an accountant for his uncle's drug business, according to prosecutors, counting the proceeds of cocaine and marijuana sales and sending the funds Mexico.

The U.S. Attorney's Office characterized the organization as an arm of a multi-national drug trafficking organization. It operated out of Velazquez Pallets, on Turkey Creek Road in Plant City.

A seven-month investigation of pegged its total proceeds in that time at more than $3 million.

Alexandro Velasquez expressed remorse for his role in the crime. U.S. District Judge Mary Scriven, noting Velasquez's youth and his cooperation with the government, gave him 46 months — significantly less time than he could have received.

His uncle, Saul Velazquez-Bazan, who led the organization, was sentenced last week to 17 1/2 years in prison.

"The federal judge looked at the totality of the circumstances, not just his criminal conduct, to reach a fair and just sentence," said attorney Mark O'Brien, who represents Alexandro Velasquez. "My client and his family are very pleased."

Contact Dan Sullivan at [email protected] ollow @DanTimes

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