Two Plead Guilty to Money Laundering

The U.S. Attorney's Office says 44-year-old Bridget Michelle Bland, of Forest, and Willie Charles Rhodes, 54, of Brandon, have pleaded guilty to
money laundering the drug proceeds of Forest drug dealer, Jessie Hall, 39.

Bland also admitted to causing a business to file a false report to the Internal Revenue Service.

Bland and Rhodes will be sentenced June 6, 2013.

Federal officials say three co-defendants in this case previously pleaded guilty to money laundering: Shannon Denise Hall, 41 of Forest, Sylvania Laranda Young, 41, currently of Jackson, and Hall.

U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis says all five defendants participated in an extensive scheme to launder Hall's drug proceeds through Hall’s Trucking. Feds say numerous assets were acquired through Hall’s drug trade and given the appearance of legitimate wealth, including over $900,000 in a 2-year period.

Officials say 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.