Top DEA Agent Implicated in Multi-Million Dollar Money Laundering Conspiracy

A top U.S. federal narcotics agent has been implicated in a multi-million-dollar money-laundering conspiracy involving the cartel criminals in Columbia he was entrusted to fight, the Associated Press reports. Jose Irizarry, 44, once a star agent in the Drug Enforcement Administration, is accused of conspiring with a longtime DEA informant to launder more than $7 million in illicit drug profits. According the Associated Press, who spoke with five current and former law enforcement officials about the matter, Irizarry allegedly used an underground network called the black-market peso exchange for the dealings. Officials have described the case as one of the biggest stains on the DEA—and one they believe might have threatened undercover operations in the U.S. and South America. Details about Irizarry’s alleged dealings emerged during a federal case in Tampa, Florida, where former DEA informant Gustavo Yabrudi, a dual Venezuelan-American citizen, recently pleaded guilty to money laundering. That case refers to an unnamed “co-conspirator 3,” who is in fact Irizarry, according to the Associated Press.