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Orlando woman arrested for laundering drug money

A 42-year-old woman from Orlando has been arrested on charges that she is part of a violent drug trafficking ring from Jamaica. Police claim her lifestyle wasn't financed by her concert promotion business but rather by the profits from marijuana the ring brought into Central Florida. The group of 50 suspects has been charged with a variety of charges ranging from trafficking marijuana to racketeering.

Agents from the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigations have been investigating the 42-year-old-woman for many years. They believe that she's in charge of the group's finances, which is unusual for a woman in the male-dominated world of drug trafficking. It is believed some of the group's money was laundered by the woman through the Wynn Casino in Las Vegas. Police say running a concert promotion company is a fairly common front drug dealers use. Her company, Sure Thing Investments, has been inactive for five years.

However, they haven't been able to track down all the money and are not sure of the 42-year-old woman's true identity. Records show they were able to track the $3.3 million she deposited at the Wynn Casino between 2010 and 2012, but her income tax returns report much less on her corporate and personal returns. She is also an avid player of the Florida lottery and a spokeswoman for the department confirmed she's won approximately $187,000. However, at her bond hearing, she claimed to only have $30,000 of the winnings left.

It is difficult to know how many women may be involved at a high level in drug rings. However, Florida has linked several females to high-profile cases, including a drug smuggler known as the "Queen of the Pacific" and a woman nicknamed "The Godmother" who ran a violent cocaine ring. Both women served prison terms for their activities in Florida before being deported to their home countries of Mexico and Columbia. A criminal lawyer may be able to fight charges placed against someone who has been charged with drug trafficking or a similar offense.

Source: Orlando Sentinel, "Local woman is crime kingpin, cops say", Amy Pavuk, October 26, 2013

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