Angel Cardenas-Baez

Angel Cardenas-Baez faces conspiracy, illegally conducting an enterprise and money laundering charges. 

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- A man living in Phoenix was arrested on Thursday for running an illegal money laundering enterprise, police say.

On August 1, Judge Warren Granville of the Maricopa County Superior Court authorized the wiretapping of a cellphone number used by 43-year-old Angel Cardenas-Baez between August 26 and 27.

During that time, investigators intercepted calls Cardenas-Baez had with his significant other Zuleyma Nevarez-Paredes and his mom Maria Baez-Lopez.

Court documents say while investigators intercepted the phone calls, they discovered that Cardenas-Baez was traveling from Mochis, Mexico to Phoenix to get a concealed amount of illegal drug earnings in U.S. dollars to take back to Mexico.

By August 30, Judge Granville authorized investigators to keep tapping the cellphone number used by Cardenas-Baez. That same day, when intercepting calls Cardenas-Baez had with his mom Baez-Lopez and an anonymous money courier, investigators learned that the courier wanted to deliver $17,500 to Baez-Lopez.

Court documents said Baez-Lopez then called her son to tell him about the delivery that was coming. Cardenas-Baez then called the courier to tell him to meet him by Anthem where he worked. Later, Cardenas-Baez's mom called him to tell him the money was delivered to her at his home in Phoenix.

In another intercepted phone call, according to court documents, Baez-Lopez told her son that she was going back to Mexico by a shuttle that day because the people she was giving the money to were getting anxious. She also told her son that an additional $15,000 was delivered to her at his home.

Later that day, court documents say, investigators installed surveillance at Cardenas-Baez's home in the area of Hazelwood Street and 57th Avenue.

Through their surveillance, investigators witnessed Baez-Lopez leave her son's home. They followed her to a shuttle service where she got on a van and left the area, court documents say.

With help from the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, a traffic stop on the shuttle van was conducted.

With consent, the PCSO deputies found multiple packages of U.S. currency in the purse, pants and shoes of Baez-Lopez. In total, the deputies uncovered $48,720 of U.S. dollars, court documents say.

On September 12, Cardenas-Baez was arrested at his Phoenix home.

While Baez-Lopez's was arrested, her charges are pending. Meanwhile, the charges her son Cardenas-Baez faces include conspiracy, illegally conducting an enterprise and money laundering.

 


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