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Man charged with money laundering

GAINESVILLE — A Dacula man was charged by a United States District Court Friday for reportedly laundering hundreds of thousands of dollars in drug cartel money through his auto business.

According to the United States Attorney’s Office, Quirino Garcia-Cosino, 30, owns and operates Community Auto Center in Gainesville. In the months between May and July, Garcia-Cosino knowingly accepted a total of $150,000 from another individual who asked him to “clean” the money for delivery to the Juarez drug cartel in Mexico.

Garcia-Cosino and an employee, who was also charged, reportedly accepted the money and provided cashier’s checks in return, subtracting their commission.

On Friday, Garcia-Cosino was stopped by Georgia State Patrol, and allegedly found to be in possession of $150,000 of drug money, which he had agreed to exchange for smaller denominations.

“Those who launder drug money inflict as much damage on the community as the drug dealers themselves by enabling them to continue their harmful businesses,” Yates said in a statement. “These defendants allegedly were more than willing to provide this critical link in the drug trafficking chain.”

The laundering charges facing Garcia-Cosino and his accomplice, 22-year-old Gainesville resident Diana Peralta-Trujillo, carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.