Sierra Vista couple pleads guilty to trafficking, laundering - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Sierra Vista couple pleads guilty to trafficking, laundering

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

A Sierra Vista couple has pleaded guilty to conducting a criminal enterprise by laundering money and transporting marijuana for sale from January 2000 to October 2012.

Juan Manuel Alvarado-Fajardo and his wife, Neriah Kidebar Morin-Alvarado, pleaded guilty to the lone count of operating a criminal enterprise, according to a news release from the Arizona Attorney General's Office.

The couple admitted to the charges and an investigation revealed they amassed a large amount of property and wealth by laundering the proceeds of their drug sales through the purchase of several properties in the Sierra Vista area, according to the release.

A search warrant served in October 2012 uncovered $98,600 hidden in a safety deposit box, and $35,000 in a savings account.

The couple also had 10 vehicles registered in their names and owned 11 properties.

As part of a plea agreement, the Alvarados forfeited eight of the 10 vehicles, 10 of the properties and all the cash seized by investigators, according to the release.

The couple is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 12 in Cochise County Superior Court and face a minimum term of probation or a maximum term of 8.75 years in prison.

The case involved eight branches of law enforcement on state and federal levels, according to the release.

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