In the past few weeks, Federal agents have seized three operations valued at more than $1 million each.
The excessive cash is believed to have been on-hand because the coronavirus pandemic has slowed money-laundering operations that drug trafficking organizations typically use to move profits.
Federal court cases reveal drug traffickers remit funds from the US to Mexico largely through fashion wholesalers based in the fashion district of downtown Los Angeles.
Steven Mygrant, a federal prosecutor in Oregon, explained how the operations typically work: “To accomplish this, broker pays pesos for the drug traffickers’ dollars. The traffickers deliver cash to an exporter in Los Angeles, who ships goods — commonly clothing, cosmetics, jewelry or sportswear — to a retailer in Mexico. The retailer sells the goods for pesos and pays the broker.”