ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — An Albany woman pleaded guilty to money laundering conspiracy and making false statements to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on Thursday. Kristle “Demii” Walker, 39, faces up to 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $750,000 total if convicted.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) says in pleading guilty, Walker admitted to conspiring with several others to launder money from marijuana sales in the Captial Region and other places across the country between at least 2019 and 2022. The DOJ says Walker laundered money through several means, including sending over $10,000 in money transfers purchased using drug money from the Capital Region to Fresno and Clovis, California. The DOJ also says Walker exchanged $26,500 in cash drug proceeds, using small bills for larger ones at Capital Region credit unions, purchased over $195,000 in cashier’s checks, and flew from the Capital Region to Fresno with suitcases full of money she had from the drug sales. Federal law requires banks and financial institutions to report cash transactions over $10,000. To avoid the reports, Walker purchased multiple cashier’s checks slightly below the threshold at different bank branches on the same day.
The DOJ says that in June 2020, Walker tried to board a plane from Albany to Fresno with a suitcase with $179,710 in cash drug proceeds. The suitcase was seized by the DEA. Walker said the cash belonged to Dwight Singletary, another person indicted, and she was not involved in criminal activity. The DEA says that the claim was untrue.