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Published on April 12, 2024
DHS Employee in Texas Indicted for Allegedly Laundering $700K of Suspected Drug MoneySource: U.S. Courts

A Department of Homeland Security employee stands accused of laundering nearly $700,000 of what he believed to be dirty drug money, in a shocking breach of trust by a government official. Christopher Washington Toral, a 48-year-old deportation officer with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, was arrested and is now facing serious time behind bars.

Caught in the act, the indictment alleges that on three separate occasions last year, Toral ferried stacks of cash which he thought came from illicit drug deals. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, the officer transported $200,000 between February 9 and February 28, 2023, from Dallas to Houston. Following this, he allegedly smuggled another $300,000 from Newark, New Jersey to Houston in early March.

Toral, hailing from Spring, Texas, was taken into custody and is slated for his first court appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew Edison. This indictment came down on April 9 and was unsealed at the time of his arrest.

With a potential sentence looming over him that could lock him away for two decades, Toral is facing up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine that could reach $1 million if convicted. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carolyn Ferko, who is part of the team that conducted the investigation along with the FBI and the DHS - Office of Inspector General.