What was the outcome?
In or around 2015, a multi-agency investigation was initiated under the direction of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF).
Undercover agents executed 22 federal search warrants and arrested 12 conspirators, both the masterminds behind the scheme and the colluding money mules. They recovered more than six tons of shark fins, $3.9 million held in multiple bank accounts, $3 million in gold, silver, and other precious metals, and $1 million in diamonds.
In July 2020, the conspirators were charged with mail and wire fraud conspiracy, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, and money laundering conspiracy. The charges carry penalties of up to life in federal prison without the possibility of parole.
The investigation is ongoing and the U.S. attorney’s office has indicated the possibility of more arrests.