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Fla. man faces money laundering charges

January 12, 1998

Fla. man faces money laundering charges

By MARLO BARNHART

Staff Writer

A Fort Pierce, Fla., man accused of laundering more than $13,000 in drug money through a Hagerstown bank has been jailed on $250,000 bond.

Jimmie Troutman, 28, of 404 N. 23rd St., also was charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine. He appeared at a Monday bond review hearing before Washington County District Judge Ralph H. France II and was returned to the Washington County Detention Center.

Agents of the Washington County's Narcotics Task Force were alerted on Jan. 2 by a representative of the F&M Bank in Hagerstown concerning activity relating to the exchange of large amounts of currency for $100 bills.

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The suspicions were first raised in November when a woman driving a white Suburban with Florida tags came into the Halfway branch with $7,000 in small bills to exchange for $100 bills, court records said.

She returned later with $2,000 and asked for the same transaction, court records said.

When questioned, the woman told bank tellers she and her boyfriend were from New York and had just opened a beauty supply store, court records said.

In December, Troutman, driving the same vehicle as the woman, went in and requested several cashier's checks for $5,000 each, paying in small bills, court records said.

He also got a lock box and applied for a credit card.

The bank's fraud specialist was alerted and a check of Troutman's application noted a Florida address and an employment record as a field foreman for a harvesting company that wouldn't support the large cash transactions, court records said.

Both Troutman and the woman were photographed during the transactions and NTF agents were alerted, court records said.

On Jan. 8, NTF agents executed search and seizure warrants at 1061E Noland Drive and 11217 Tanglewood Court, Apt. 7, where they seized $13,400 in cash and a large quantity of suspected cocaine, court records said.

Troutman was known to reside at both addresses, court records said.

Court records also noted that NTF agents are aware that drug trafficking generates large amounts of "street money" in small denominations.

Such money is bulky and is often changed into larger bills that are easier to conceal and transport. In addition, transactions are kept under $10,000 to avoid the filing of a currency transaction report with the Internal Revenue Service, court records said.

Troutman was charged with gaining proceeds from controlled dangerous substance trafficking and cocaine distribution.

A preliminary hearing was set for Feb. 5 at 1 p.m.

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