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46 months for Ketchikan money laundering case

Posted: December 12, 2012 - 12:01pm

A Ketchikan resident from the Philippines was sentenced to 46 months in prison and will likely be deported for laundering money in a drug conspiracy.

Herman Arca Seludo Jr., 33, was sentenced by U.S. Magistrate Timothy Burgess in U.S. District Court in Juneau’s Federal Building on Tuesday.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Schmidt wrote in a sentencing memo that Seludo was a member of a drug conspiracy to import methamphetamine to Ketchikan from various locations in the Lower 48 from April 2008 to February 2012.

The co-conspirators would arrange transport of the drugs via drug couriers flying on commercial airlines, or in commercial package delivery services, the memo states. The co-conspirators would also fly to Washington and receive drug money to purchase more methamphetamine.

Seludo, and another defendant Jeremiah Perez, were then responsible for selling the drugs and collecting the drug money. He would deposit the drug proceeds in his co-conspirator’s bank account for payment.

Seludo laundered a total of about $41,000, Schmidt said.

Seludo was initially arrested in February, alongside with his older brother, Francisco Arca Seludo, 41, and Perez, on suspicion of possessing or distributing methamphetamine.

Seludo was charged by the state of Alaska with two felony drug charges and with a misdemeanor for violating release conditions in a December 2010 felony drug case.

Federal prosecutors became involved in April when Schmidt charged them each with one count of money laundering conspiracy. Seludo pleaded guilty in July.

Seludo received a 46-month sentence in the state cases, and the sentence in this federal case is to run concurrent with that. That means Seludo will have to serve a total of 46 months, not two 46-month sentences.

When given the opportunity to speak on Tuesday, Seludo apologized for his conduct, speaking in Tagalog through an interpreter. Seludo is represented by attorney Thomas Collins, who said his client was likely to be deported after serving his prison sentence.

The maximum penalty for money laundering conspiracy is 20 years in prison, but the presumptive sentencing range for Seludo was 37 to 46 months based on his criminal history and seriousness of the crime.

Attorneys said Seludo’s brother Francisco played a bigger role in the conspiracy. Francisco Seludo has already pleaded guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced in court before Burgess on Wednesday.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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