Get set for new details about the jet set. Emergent details in the Government’s case against Hugh Sibley

I have some additional docs to post but first, David Mitchell at the Advocate adds greater detail to the Government’s allegations against Hugh Sibley including a connection to Oklahoma City businessman Lee R. Snider:

A Greensburg lawyer pleaded innocent Thursday in U.S. District Court at Houston to a charge of laundering money for an international cocaine ring operating in Venezuela, Mexico and the United States, his attorney said.

William Hugh Sibley, 62, entered the initial plea before U.S. District Judge Calvin Botley around 11 a.m., said Sibley defense attorney James Manasseh, of Baton Rouge. Manasseh declined further comment………

The initial plea came as new information emerged in court and aviation records about the cocaine and cash transportation conspiracy to which federal prosecutors have linked Sibley, who goes by the first name of “Hugh.”

Sibley’s case has a link to an earlier federal prosecution involving Broken Arrow, Okla., businessman Lee R. Snider, a defendant who is awaiting sentencing on June 26 in U.S. District Court in Tulsa, Okla., records show.

In January 2007, Snider pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to launder money in connection with a scheme to buy and lease aircraft for the transport of illegal drugs and cash and to hide who was leasing the planes, court records show.

In an August 2006 indictment against Snider, federal prosecutors identify eight business aircraft used in the leasing scheme. One of them is the same jet that federal prosecutors in Houston identified as being used by the drug ring with which Sibley was involved, federal court and aviation records show.

Though the indictments of Snider and Sibley are nearly two years apart, they identify the same model of business jet with the same tail number.

According to the indictments against Sibley and Snider, the twin-turbo jet Aero Commander was used to move $3.15 million to the Panama City, Panama, airport in late October 2002.

The conspiracy spelled out in the May 2008 indictment against Sibley, drug ringleader Alejandro Flores-Cacho and three others involved transactions and drop-offs of cash across the Southern and Southwestern United States totaling nearly $11.7 million.

In at least some cases, the drop-offs were carried out by aircraft.

Prosecutors in Tulsa and a spokeswoman with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, which investigated the Snider case, declined to comment on any connection between Sibley’s and Snider’s cases.

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