Federal authorities arrested and charged two Latin music business executives June 14 for allegedly conducting business with a Guadalajara-based concert promoter tied to Mexican drug cartels, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).
In a conspiracy to violate the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act, a law that prohibits Americans from dealing with foreign drug traffickers, law enforcement arrested Angel Del Villar, 41, of Huntington Beach, the CEO of Del Records and its subsidiary talent agency Del Entertainment; authorities also arrested Luca Scalisi, 56, of West Hollywood, the CFO of Del Entertainment.
“Del Villar and Scalisi are named in a criminal complaint that accuses them of conspiracy to transact in property of specially designated narcotics traffickers in violation of the Kingpin Act,” a DOJ statement reads.
In a statement to Rolling Stone, a representative for Del Villar denied the criminal charges made by the DOJ and defended the label executives.
“The suggestion that they would knowingly be involved in anything related to illegal narcotics is absurd,” the statement reads. “We believe the allegations stem from complaints of a disgruntled former business partner, and Mr. Del Villar and Mr. Scalisi look forward to clearing their names.”
Authorities also named in the complaint music promoter Jesus Perez Alvear, 37, of Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico, who controls Gallistica Diamante, otherwise known as a Ticket Premier.
Perez, whose current whereabouts remain unknown, promoted concerts for Del Entertainment in Mexico until March 2019.
The complaint alleges that on April 19, 2018, law enforcement approached a famous musician, known as Individual A, informing the individual about Perez violating the Kingpin Act, which prohibits the musician from conducting business with Perez or performing concerts he promoted.
Ten days later, Del Records’s CEO paid for a private jet to fly the musician out from Van Nuys Airport to perform a music concert organized by Perez in Aguascalientes, Mexico, according to the DOJ.
The well-known musician performed during the “early hours on April 28, 2018” in Aguascalientes, Mexico.
“A video, which [authorities] have seen, is publicly available from multiple sources confirming that Individual A performed during the 2018 Aguascalientes concert,” the DOJ statement reads.
The complaint also alleges that the musician performed at four other Perez-promoted concerts in Mexico between 2018 and 2019 “at the direction or with the knowledge of Del Villar, Scalisi, and Perez.”
Both Latin music business executives in the criminal complaint made their initial appearances on June 14 in United States District Court in downtown Los Angeles.
Authorities ordered Del Villar’s release on a $100,000 bond and Scalisi’s release on a $35,000 bond.
Del Villar and Scalisi are scheduled for arraignments on July 20.
According to the statement, if convicted of violating the Kingpin Act, Del Villar and Scalisi would face a statutory maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison. Perez would face a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.