Two people from Evanston will go to prison for laundering money.
Juan C. Fernandez, 40, and Reyna Garcia-Manzanares, 42, both of the 400 block of West Howard Street, Evanston, Ill., today each pleaded guilty to money laundering, a Class 1 felony, in exchange for a sentence of six years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Associate Judge Alice Tracy accepted the plea.
Prosecutors presented evidence that on April 1, 2014, Department of Homeland Security agents saw Fernandez and Garcia-Manzanares meet with a second party in the parking lot of a business in the 900 block of Grove Street on Aurora’s near west side. Fernandez and Garcia-Manzanares left the meeting in a silver 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee. A traffic stop was conducted on the vehicle in Chicago. A lawful search of the vehicle revealed more than $190,000 in cash.
When questioned by police, Garcia-Manzanares said she assists in laundering the money in smaller amounts into multiple bank accounts to avoid detection by law enforcement, and that she receives $10 to $15 for each bank transaction. Fernandez said he knew the money he was picking up was the proceeds of illegal narcotics activity.
According to Illinois law, Fernandez and Garcia-Manzanares are eligible for day-for-day sentencing. They receive credit for at least 561 days served in the Kane County jail, where they have been held since their arrest in lieu of $500,000 bail. Bond was revoked upon conviction.
The case was prosecuted by Kane County First Assistant State’s Attorney Jody Gleason.
SOURCE: Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office press release