On Jan. 24, Senior U.S. District Judge David Briones sentenced El Paso lawyer Marco Antonio Delgado to 20 years in federal prison for conspiracy to commit money laundering.
The conviction of the El Paso lawyer in October on one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering was a significant one because Delgado was a well-regarded attorney and philanthropist, U.S. Attorney Robert Pitman of the Western District of Texas said when the jury convicted Delgado.
However, prosecutors put on evidence to the jury that Delgado’s conspiracy to commit money laundering was for the Milenio drug trafficking organization, Pitman said at the time. They presented evidence linking Delgado to $1 million in drug money traveling from Atlanta to Mexico via El Paso, and they alleged $50,000 they seized from Delgado’s Interest on Lawyer’s Trust Account (IOLTA), was also connected to drug money, he said.
“Unfortunately, he was giving away money that there was reason to believe” was connected to illegal funds, said Pitman at the time.
Delgado’s attorney, Ray Velarde, did not return a call for comment. Delgado also faces a trial before Briones on allegations of wire fraud on Feb. 24.