DENVER (CBS4) — Federal prosecutors say fast-food restaurants in Colorado and southern Wyoming are laundering hundreds of thousands of dollars in drug trafficking proceeds. According to reports, Almansitas Mexican Food restaurant in Greeley is among the 17 restaurants implicated in the investigation.
At least six restaurants in Colorado Springs and one in Cheyenne are also implicated in the case, the Casper Star-Tribune reports. Investigators have reportedly frozen 17 bank accounts — including two safety deposit boxes that contained about $800,000 in cash.
The complaint is sealed and the names of most restaurants involved in the investigation are not available,
However, according to the Greeley Tribune, Almansitas Mexican Food is one of the restaurants that have had accounts frozen and assets seized by federal authorities in connection with the investigation. The paper cites court documents filed by the owner, Ana Cejudo, which state the restaurant has never served as a drug trafficking front and has not laundered money.
According to the Star-Tribune, one of the other restaurants named in federal court documents is Viva El Taco, in Colorado Springs. One bank account associated with the restaurant was reportedly frozen.
Rodolfo’s Mexican Grill in Cheyenne is also among the restaurants named in the investigation, the Star-Tribune. At least five of the claimants have reportedly filed responses denying the allegations.
The owner of the Taco Star chain is also listed as a defendant in the court filing, the Greeley Tribune reports. Taco Star has locations in Longmont, Northglenn, Aurora and Colorado Springs.
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