An El Paso attorney with strong business ties in Mexico was found guilty in federal court Monday of conspiring to launder millions of dollars for a Mexican drug cartel.
Marco Antonio Delgado could face 20 years in prison for participating in a scheme to launder up to $600 million for the now-defunct Milenio drug cartel.
Delgado worked as an informant for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in 2007 after agents in Atlanta seized $1 million in cash from a car he was traveling in.
Prosecutors used recorded phone conversations as evidence against Delgado. Some calls included Lilián de la Concha, the ex-wife of former Mexican president Vicente Fox. In other calls Delgado's associates expressed concern over the money seizure and said they were getting death threats.
The defense argued Delgado had no knowledge that the money in question belonged to a drug trafficking organization.
Delgado practiced corporate and energy law in El Paso. He is a former trustee of Carnegie Mellon University. In a trial set for next month, he faces additional money laundering charges and two counts of wire fraud.