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Salt Lake sisters laundered $1M for Mexican drug traffickers, feds say

Wood gavel, bunch of keys, scales and stack of old books against the background of a row of antique books bound in leather
Wood gavel, bunch of keys, scales and stack of old books against the background of a row of antique books bound in leather
Adobe stock photo

SALT LAKE CITY — Two Salt Lake sisters face federal charges for allegedly laundering $1 million for Mexican drug traffickers through their money services businesses.

Rosa Rodriguez, 41, and her sister, Yadira Rodriguez, 35, used Happy Travel in West Valley City and Happy Travel 2 in Salt Lake City to send money transfers for drug trafficking organizations and took steps to conceal the source and ownership of the proceeds, according to a federal indictment.

The charges also allege the pair concealed the traffickers’ identities by falsifying sender information on the money transfers. Investigators believe that by structuring transactions and sending money under fictitious names, the sisters laundered an estimated $1 million for Mexican drug traffickers.

The two were arrested last week. A detention hearing for Rosa Rodriguez, who owns the businesses, is scheduled for Thursday in federal court. Yadira Rodriguez, who operated the Salt Lake location, was released.