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Latino Daily News

Saturday May 19, 2012

La Familia Narco Traffickers Plead Guilty to Operating in U.S.

La Familia Narco Traffickers Plead Guilty to Operating in U.S.

Photo: The Peralta-Saucedo brothers could face life in prison due to trafficking

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

United States Attorney Robert E. O’Neill; Steven E. Ibison, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Tampa Field Office; and Manatee County Sheriff Brad Steube announce today that two brothers, Victor Peralta-Saucedo (25) and Guillermo Peralta-Saucedo (32) pled guilty to drug and money laundering charges.

Both brothers are Mexican nationals residing in the United States illegally. Prior to their arrest, they lived in Bradenton.

According to the plea agreements, in 2011, Victor Peralta-Saucedo and Guillermo Peralta-Saucedo directed others to smuggle cocaine from Mexico to the United States for “La Familia” (the Mexican drug cartel known as La Familia Michoacan).

For example, the brothers employed a courier who, on more than 20 occasions, used an automobile outfitted with a hidden compartment to smuggle cocaine. The courier smuggled two to four kilograms of cocaine at a time for distribution in Manatee County. Further, the brothers laundered drug proceeds by, among other things, converting small denominations of United States currency into large denominations, making the money easier to conceal, and then having a courier drive the money to Mexico.

In accordance with the plea agreements, multiple assets are to be forfeited to the United States. These assets were either used by the conspirators to facilitate their drug trafficking and money laundering or acquired with drug proceeds. They include three homes and a duplex in Bradenton.

Victor Peralta-Saucedo and Guillermo Peralta-Saucedo each face a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in federal prison, up to a maximum of life in federal prison for knowingly and willfully conspiring with each other, and others, to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine.

They each face up to 20 years in federal prison for knowingly and willfully conducting and attempting to conduct financial transactions, affecting interstate and foreign commerce, involving the proceeds of a specified unlawful activity.