Investigations carried out by the Organised Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) led to the arrest and charge of 54-year-old Marcia Cunningham, a native from Jamaica and a resident of Plantation in Florida, United States.
Cunningham has been sentenced to more than 14 years in federal prison for her role in laundering money for an international cocaine ring.
Reports are that Cunningham played an integral role in the operation, as she was responsible for creating post office box addresses whilst using fake identification to enable the importation of narcotics from Mexico to the US. The criminal organization then used that mailing system to distribute cocaine to their customers, many of whom resided in the western district of Pennsylvania. Cunningham reportedly did this over a two-year period, from April 2017 to April 2019.
The office of the US Attorney stated that Cunningham used multiple bank accounts to launder the proceeds from the illegal cocaine operation that she used to fund her expensive lifestyle – luxury vehicles, real estate, jewellery, and other items.
Furthermore, the cocaine ring was allegedly headed by a man from California named Hector Forbes who pleaded guilty in 2020 and is awaiting sentencing. His brother, however, named Robert was also an active member and was sentenced to serve 12 years in federal prison.
According to a statement from the US Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania, “Cunningham is not a United States citizen and is expected to be deported once she completes her sentence”. Additionally, Marilyn J Horan, United States District Judge ordered that Cunningham carry out five years of supervised release on her conviction.
Cunningham was also reportedly planning to use some of the funds she received from trafficking drugs to purchase assets back home, as she wanted to return and live in Jamaica.