Houston Man Convicted of Federal Drug Trafficking and Money Laundering Charges

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BEAUMONT, Texas – A 40-year-old Houston man has been convicted of drug trafficking and money laundering violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown today.

John D. Leontaritis, owner and operator of Vanderhall Exotics of Houston, and former owner operator of Global Motorcars of Houston, car dealerships that specialize in exotic, luxury automobiles, was found guilty by a jury today following a six-day trial before U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone.

According to information presented in court, Leontaritis was indicted by a federal grand jury on Apr. 4, 2018, and charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of methamphetamine, as well as, conspiracy to commit money laundering, which were committed from 2013 to 2017 in both the Houston and Beaumont areas. As a result of this investigation, seven other members of the conspiracy have already pleaded guilty and been sentenced.

This case is the result of an extensive joint investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Houston Police Department and the Internal Revenue Service-CI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michelle S. Englade and Michael Anderson.

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