Meade Couple Reaches Plea Deal in Money Laundering Case
Joe Denoyer - October 9, 2016 10:19 pm
Many bundle of US 100 dollars bank notes
Federal prosecutors say a farming couple implicated in a major money laundering indictment linked to the Juarez/La Linea Mexican drug cartel along with a small bank in Wichita, Kansas, have reached a plea agreement.
According to reports, George and Agatha Enns, who are farmers from the town of Meade, have reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors in association with charges of money laundering.
They couple was accused of laundering cash for the Mexican drug cartel known as La Linea, which was at one time the paramilitary enforcer wing of the Juarez drug cartel.
The two suspects were charged in 34-count money laundering indictment in which the couple reportedly crossed the border in New Mexico with $317,700 in cash inside a black garbage bag and had an account with over $900,000 at an El Paso Bank of America branch.
The federal money laundering indictment, which was unsealed back in 2015 revealed that between 2011 and 2014 the Enns’ deposited over $6.8 million in their bank account, which detectives determined were profits not derived from their Kansas-based business.
Federal investigators say the Enns allegedly crossed the U.S.-Mexico border 25 times since 2012 and were stopped by U.S. border patrol agents multiple times with a significant amount of cash.
A joint report filed on Friday by the suspects informs the court of their plan to change their pleas.
Their lawyers indicated they have not yet received a copy of the plea agreement, but he expects to schedule a hearing to enter new pleas before the end of 2016.
The filing occurred one day after former Plains State Bank President James Kirk Friend informed the court that he plans to reverse his plea in a hearing scheduled for October 17th.
Prosecutors argued that Friend helped the duo launder over $6.8 million between 2011-2014.
The Enns initially claimed that a significant portion of the money they managed came from their farm seed company in Mexico, the El Paso Times reported.
Randolph Ortega, the couple’s attorney, had described his clients as simple, down-to-earth individuals who made an honest living. The couple had maintained their innocence at the time of their apprehension.
The lawyer stated: “The Enns’ are farmers from Kansas who sold corn seed and operated a water mill business, they are the salt of the Earth. I am confident that when the facts and circumstances surrounding this case reveal themselves; the Enns’ will be vindicated. I have complete confidence in our system of justice, and I know justice will prevail for the Enns family.”
George Enns is a native of Mexico, and Agatha Enns is from Canada.