The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested Tuesday two music industry executives in Los Angeles, including the CEO of a Latin music conglomerate, who have been accused of doing business with a Guadalajara-based concert promoter linked to Mexican drug cartels.
The detainees are Ángel Del Villar, executive director of Del Records, one of the most important producers of Mexican regional music singers in the United States; and Luca Scalisi, CFO of Del Records’ talent agency, called Del Entertainment.
Both appeared in federal court in Los Angeles on Tuesday.
Del Villar, 41, was released on $100,000 bond and Scalisi was released on $35,000 bond. His arraignment has been scheduled for July 20.
According to the indictment, Del Villar and Scalisi conspired to transact on the property of specially designated drug traffickers in violation of the Kingpin Act.
The government alleges that they collaborated with a third defendant named in the criminal complaint, Jesus Perez Alvear 37 years old, originally from Morelos and music promoter who controls diamond gallistics, also known as Premier Ticket.
Pérez Alvear, who is believed to be in Mexico, promoted concerts in Mexico for Del Entertainment until March 2019. This man and his company are listed as “Specially Designated Drug Traffickers” under the Kingpin Act, which prevents people in the United States from doing business with these.
The complaint alleges that on April 19, 2018, FBI agents approached a well-known musician, identified in the complaint as ‘Individual A,’ and warned him that Pérez Alvear had been booked by the Treasury Department and therefore had prohibited doing business with him and performing at the concerts he promoted.
On April 28, 2018, that musician performed at a music concert organized by Pérez Alvear. Del Villar’s credit card was used to pay for a private plane that took the singer from the Van Nuys airport to a performance in Aguascalientes, Mexico, according to the indictment.
On four more occasions, in 2018 and 2019, that singer performed at concerts in Mexicali, Salamanca, Chiapas and San José Iturbide, which Pérez Alvear promoted. The FBI alleges that this interpreter acted “at the direction or with the knowledge of Del Villar, Scalisi and Pérez.”
If convicted of violating the Kingpin Act, Del Villar and Scalisi would face a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. While Pérez would face a sentence of up to 10 years Behind bars.
The offices of Del Records, a California record label famous for producing songs about Mexican drug traffickers, and Del Villar’s home were searched by FBI agents in May 2020.
In videos that circulated on social networks, several agents are seen forcing a gate and the main entrance of the record company. The officers left the building carrying boxes.
Angel Del Villar himself, owner of Del Records, He has his corridos.
Empires come and go/ but here follows Del/ an angel brings the throne/ and knows how to defend himself, says the theme ‘The one with the cap 27’, by Lenin Ramírez.
‘Chucho Pérez’ and the CJNG
The US government alleges that Pérez Alvear has carried out money laundering activities for the powerful Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) and its financial arm known as The Cuinis.
“Pérez Alvear (alias “Chucho Pérez”) is a Mexican music promoter who is dedicated to laundering funds originating from drug trafficking through Mexican concerts on behalf of the CJNG and the drug trafficking organization Los Cuinis, headed by Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes (alias “Mencho”) and Abigael González Valencia,” says a statement from the Treasury Department.
“‘Chucho Pérez’ has close ties to the González Valencia family and focuses mainly on promoting concerts during massive Mexican fairs, such as those in Aguascalientes and Metepec. ‘Chucho Pérez’ applies violence to obtain concessions that allow him to organize these concerts,” add the dependency.
This promoter, the government affirms, “is dedicated to laundering funds obtained through drug trafficking” that belong to the CJNG and Los Cuinis, “combining those funds with legitimate income generated by the sale of tickets, drinks, parking charges and other items.”
Some of the musical events that it organizes, in which they sing mainly narcocorridos, “are linked to drug trafficking organizations,” the government says.
One of the artists who worked for him is Julio César Álvarez Montelongo, better known as Julian Alvarez, who a few days ago was removed from the black list of the Office for Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), after almost five years of being recorded by it.