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A former Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent, is known for his lavish lifestyle, was on Friday arrested on the charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering to be the same for a Colombian drug cartel he was supposed to be investigating.
Authorities arrested howard and his wife at their home in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Federal prosecutors say a 19-count complaint alleged that the 49-year-old used his “position and his special access to information” for the purpose of money laundering of millions in drug profits.
They were both placed in the $10,000 bail and was released.
“It’s a black eye for the DEA to be one of their own was involved in a high-level of corruption,” said Mike Vigil, the DEA’s former head of international operations. “He threatened to come and investigate. He threatened other officers, and he has informants in danger.”
Irizarry was an example of how the agent after joining with the DEA in Miami in 2009. He was in charge of an undercover money-laundering operation, using front companies, shell accounts, and carriers. Irizarry resigned in January 2018 after being re-assigned to Washington, and when his boss at Columbia was suspect.
In previous reports, The New york times, wrote about his alleged misconduct in the previous year.
“His fingerprints are all over dozens of arrests and indictments,” said David S. Weinstein, a former federal prosecutor in Miami, florida. “It would have a ripple effect and cause the courts to re-examine, in any event, he has been involved in.”
Authorities said Irizarry filed false reports, and misled superiors, while the leadership of the DEA, an amount intended for the operations on the accounts in Spain and in other countries as well. The accounts were audited by him or in connection with his wife and co-conspirators, prosecutors said.
The money funded a lavish lifestyle with the purchase of $30,000 worth of Tiffany a diamond ring, a BMW, three Land Rovers, and a $767,000 house in Cartagena de indias, as well as the places to stay in south Florida and Puerto Rico, where the couple lives.
A red Lamborghini with the same vehicle ID as mentioned in the complaint belonging to Jenny, Ambuila, who was arrested last year in Colombia, along with her father, Omar, Ambuila, a customs agent at the port of Buenaventura, a major transit country for cocaine and contraband goods, which can be used to hide the proceeds of the sale of illegal drugs. Prior to her arrest, Ambuila and share photos and videos of themselves on Facebook, posing beside the red sports car, which is currently estimated at more than $300,000.
One of the two unnamed co-conspirators in the indictment, Diego Martin, which is a close relative of the Irizarry’s wife, The AP reported. Martin is regarded as one of the top-of-the money laundering crime in Colombia over the past decade, according to U.S. and Colombian officials.
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He was arrested in 1993 for allegedly hiding money for the Cali cartel in a home game. He was never charged, and were able to prosecution, since then, by making use of the relationships built up over decades as an informant to several U.S. law enforcement agencies, the officials said.
The indictment comes a week after a DEA agent was convicted and sentenced to four years in prison for smuggling drugs from Puerto Rico to New York city.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.