Forest business used as front for drug money - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Forest business used as front for drug money

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Bridget Michelle Bland, 44, and Willie Charles Rhodes, 54, pled guilty Monday in U.S. District Court to money laundering the drug proceeds of Forest drug dealer, Jessie Hall. Bridget Michelle Bland, 44, and Willie Charles Rhodes, 54, pled guilty Monday in U.S. District Court to money laundering the drug proceeds of Forest drug dealer, Jessie Hall.
FOREST, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A Forest woman and Brandon man have pled guilty to money laundering charges in a case where nearly $1 million was discovered to have been laundered over a two year period.

Bridget Michelle Bland, 44, and Willie Charles Rhodes, 54, pled guilty Monday in U.S. District Court to money laundering the drug proceeds of Forest drug dealer, Jessie Hall. Bland also pled guilty to causing a business to file a false report to the Internal Revenue Service.

Three co-defendants in this case previously pled guilty to money laundering. Bland and Rhodes, along with Shannon Denise Hall, 41, of Forest, Sylvania Laranda Young, 41, currently of Jackson, and Jessie Hall, 39, of Forest, participated in an extensive scheme to launder the drug proceeds through Hall's business operating as Hall's Trucking.

Numerous assets were acquired through Hall's drug trade and given the appearance of legitimate wealth through the business. Over $900,000 was found to have been laundered over a two year period.

Bland and Rhodes will be sentenced on June 6. The maximum penalty for money laundering is 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. The maximum penalty for the IRS reporting violation is five years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

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