Memphis, TN – Three men and two businesses were named in a five count indictment for selling almost $3 million in cars to drug traffickers in an effort to launder drug proceeds, announced United States Attorney Edward L. Stanton III.
Wayne David McAlpin, Jr., 49, of Memphis, TN; Brian Bowman, 45, of Lakeland, TN; James
Austin, a/k/a “the Rev,” 60, of Memphis, TN; Pyramid Used Car Sales, 936 South Third Street, Memphis, TN; and Budget Auto Sales, 826 Georgia Avenue, Memphis, TN were indicted for one count of conspiracy to launder money that was known to be proceeds of illegal drug activity.
McAlpin, Austin, and the two businesses were also indicted on counts of laundering what they believed to be illegal drug proceeds. Undercover law enforcement officials posing as drug dealers purchased vehicles from the two car lots and McAlpin and Austin. McAlpin and Budget Auto Sales were also indicted for submitting an IRS Form 8300 with false and misleading information. This form requires any car dealership to report all cash transactions of $10,000 or more. McAlpin was also indicted for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The indictment alleges that from May 2005 through August 11, 2011, the two businesses were frequented by individuals engaged in criminal activity, including, but not limited to, illegal drug trafficking. The businesses sold multiple vehicles to drug traffickers, knowing they had previously had vehicles seized by law enforcement for transporting and concealing illegal drugs.
During the time in question, McAlpin was president of Budget Auto Sales and Austin worked as a salesman there. Bowman was president of Pyramid Used Car Sales.
The individuals also titled vehicles in the names of other people, as part of an effort to hide the transactions from law enforcement. Some of the transactions were in excess of $10,000 and in total, the conspiracy had transactions with a value of at least $2,926,552.
This crime is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Internal Revenue Service, the Memphis Police Department, and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Chris Cotten and Jerry Kitchen on behalf of the government.
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