(The Center Square) – A federal magistrate judge ordered the last of 23 defendants in a drug trafficking and money laundering case to be detained this week.
Now, 22 out of 23 of these people who have been charged with 33 federal crimes are now in custody. Their crimes include, among other things, laundering millions of dollars via wire transfers from Utah to Mexico and Honduras, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah.
Georgina Espinoza-Grajeda, 40, of Eagle Mountain, Utah, owns Multiservicios Lokos LLC, located in South Salt Lake City, Utah. Along with employee Jesid Dadiana De Sutter, 50, of Sandy, Utah, she was part of a conspiracy to illegally wire millions in narcotic trafficking proceeds to suppliers in Honduras and Mexico.
The two falsified wire transfer information to avoid detection.
Allegedly, Multiservicios Lokos LLC served as the laundering hub for multiple drug trafficking organizations.
From January 2022 to November 2023, the two allegedly operated their money-remitting business, and they laundered millions in drug money deposited by their co-defendants trafficking in fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine throughout the Wasatch Front.
In a coordinated effort, law enforcement seized 62,000 fentanyl pills, 24.5 pounds of heroin, 8.5 pounds of cocaine, five firearms, and $237,000 in cash. The defendants are thought to have laundered more than $20 million since the start of 2022.
Both are charged with conspiracy to launder money, conspiracy to structure transactions to evade reporting requirements, conspiracy to evade suspicious activity reporting, and anti-money laundering requirements.
Their initial court appearance was in November 2023, and a superseding indictment was filed on December 6, 2023.
Two other defendants, Henrry Arita Lozano, and Frances Dalyana Power-Escobar were also arrested in Washington and brought to Utah.
Lozano made a court appearance for his arraignment on January 5, 2024, while Power-Escobar appeared at hers on January 8, 2024. Both remain in federal custody. The trial in their cases will begin on April 16, 2024.
The Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force is among the many entities investigating the case. Special Assistant United States Attorney Ryan N. Holtan of the District of Utah is prosecuting it.