Episode 146: Eugene Casey – Operation Utah Powder, Drug Cartel Money Laundering

Retired agent Eugene Casey served 21 years with the FBI. As a special agent, he used skills gained from his prior employment as a compliance officer on Wall Street to work white collar crime matters in the FBI.

In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, Eugene Casey reviews Operation Utah Powder, a Colombian drug money laundering investigation that resulted in numerous international convictions and for which he received a distinguished service medal from the Salt Lake City Police Department.

Later in his career, Eugene Casey received an award from the Department of Justice for spearheading the Salt Lake Olympic Bribery investigation. Upon being transferred to the New York Office, he supervised the money laundering squad and, ironically, a case that had spun off from Operation Utah Powder, resulting in additional indictments and extraditions from Colombia. He also served as the supervisor of the Joint Task Force on Terrorist Finance in Saudi Arabia and was the Unit Chief for the Eurasian Organized Crime Unit of the Criminal Investigative Division, as well as the Assistant Legal Attaché (ALAT) for the FBI in Paris, France. His last Bureau assignment before retiring was as an instructor at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, teaching Interviewing and interrogation skills.

Supervisory Special Agent (Retired)

Eugene Casey

3/17/1996 – 3/24/2017







“He would drive around with a canvas duffel bag full of half a million dollars in cash. They would visit multiple banks and his wife would count, label and mark the cash to make sure it was under $10,000 and then deposit it into the different accounts.”

The following are links to articles regarding Eugene Casey’s international Colombian drug cartel money laundering case:

FBI.gov Website:  Money Launderers Take a “Powder” – International Investigation Targets Colombian Drug Traffickers’ Ill-Gotten Gains

Salt Lake Tribune – 1/6/2004:  Drug Money Trailed to Utah

Deseret Morning News – 2/4/2004: Ex-Sandy Man Gets 7-Year Term

Statistical Accomplishments from Operation Utah Powder and New York spin-off Case Operation Abluo:

  • $1,939,920 seized and forfeited from cash pick ups, bank accounts and search warrants
  • $7 million in property seized in Colombia.
  • 13 kilos of heroin seized in the Miami spin-off case along with the takedown of a Miami heroin distribution ring.
  • 11 total arrests and convictions, including four Utah subjects who pled guilty to money laundering and cooperated (Tomas Martinez, Mario Hernandez, Janeen Hernandez and Jairo Vanegas).
  • 5 subjects extradited from Colombia, all pled guilty to money laundering and all cooperated, including three peso brokers and two drug traffickers, one of whom was a member of the Norte Valle Cartel with links to the AUC – his organization was a 500 kilo per month operation in Colombia, Panama, US, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.
A photo of Tomas Martinez and Mario Hernandez in Spain.










Mario Hernandez living the high life in New York where he did so many money pickups he rented an apartment.












Jerri Williams

View posts by Jerri Williams
Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, jokes that she writes about the FBI to relive her glory days. After 26 years with the Bureau specializing in major economic fraud and corruption investigations, she calls on her professional encounters with scams and schemers to write police procedurals inspired by true crime FBI cases in her Philadelphia FBI Corruption Squad crime fiction series featuring flawed female FBI agent Kari Wheeler. Jerri’s FBI for Armchair Detectives nonfiction series enables readers to discover who the FBI is and what the FBI does by debunking misconceptions about the FBI in books, TV, and movies. Her books are available as ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks wherever books are sold. She’s also the host of FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast with more than 300 episodes available on all popular podcast apps and YouTube.


  1. Brenna MartinezMarch 17, 2022

    This was interesting to listen to. I love how you depersonalize the families of these criminals and mock them. Criminals have families, and you could do better at respecting them. Tomas Martinez is my dad. We had no idea. You have the right to speak objectively of criminals, but when you start talking about families, and specifically women “gullible women”, do so with respect.

    1. Jerri WilliamsMarch 17, 2022

      I apologize if I disrepected your family members during this episode. It was certainly not my intention to do so.

  2. https://dinhduongvathaidoc.comSeptember 25, 2019

    May I simply say what a comfort to uncover someone
    who really understands what they’re discussing online.
    You certainly understand how to bring a problem to light and make it
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    1. Jerri WilliamsSeptember 25, 2019

      Thank you. This is a true crime show produced from the professional investigator’s point of view. Just the facts.


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