POSTED: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - 6:19pm
UPDATED: Thursday, November 15, 2012 - 12:04pm
EL PASO, TX — El Paso attorney Marco Antonio Delgado was arrested earlier this month and charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering for Mexican drug cartels. Delgado appeared in Federal Court before Judge Norbert Garney for his bond hearing Wednesday morning. Delgado was denied bond and will remain in custody, but as more details of the charges revealed, Delgado's upcoming trial will certainly be memorable.
Forty six year old Marco Antonio Delgado was taken into custody Friday November 2nd from a resturant in West El Paso, but the investigation into Delgado began five years ago. According to testimony, a 2007 traffic stop outside Atlanta, Georgia uncovered nearly a million dollars. The car's driver became an informant, and named Delgado as his contact. Under questioning, Delgado agreed to cooperate with investigators and stated the money was part of a test run to channel 600 million dollars from Atlanta into Juarez.
In 2008, the driver-turned-informant tipped investigators of another pickup of $100,000 in Chicago arranged by Delgado to be deposited in an account linked to Delgado. Once deposited, money would simultaniously be withdrawn from an account in Mexico. Federal agents linked Delgado to the Guadalajara based Milenio drug cartel.
A homeland security agent testified that other transactions were made to accounts of Delgado, his law firm, wife or CPA, including a $500,000 deposit from a Swiss bank account. The investigator testified that Delgado traveled extensively between 2007 and 2012, including trips to France, Germany, Switzerland, and Quatar...and 5 trips to Cuba where the informant told investigators Delgado participated in sex parties with girls... all under 18 years old.
Delgado's defense team argued that he was cooperating with officials the entire time, and that the transactions could all be explained as part of legitimate business and loans. Judge Garney believed Delgado is a flight risk due to his extensive international contacts, and denied bond. He'll now remain behind bars until his court date.