United States v. Gonzales, No. 18-8017 (10th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
Darren Gonzales owned and operated Concrete Specialists, Inc. in Cheyenne, Wyoming. As a side business, he sold cocaine and methamphetamine. Gonzales used his personal and business bank accounts to launder the proceeds of his drug sales. After extensive investigations by state and federal law enforcement, a federal grand jury charged Gonzales with committing a multitude of drug and financial crimes. He eventually agreed to plead guilty to ten of the fifty-four counts set out in the indictment, specifically including seven counts of concealment money laundering. On appeal, Gonzales argued for the first time that the guilty pleas underlying two of his money laundering convictions, Counts 50 and 52, were not supported by a sufficient factual basis. The Tenth Circuit concluded the district court did not err in finding that Gonzales’s guilty pleas to Counts 50 and 52 were supported by a sufficient factual basis. The conduct Gonzales admitted as part of his plea agreement and at the plea colloquy established the existence of every element of a violation of 18 U.S.C. 1956(a)(1)(B)(i) as to both relevant counts.