U.S. authorities say they have broken a crime ring that laundered tens of millions of dollars from drug cartels through businesses in Los Angeles, California.
Federal officials seized $65 million in cash and bank accounts after raiding businesses in the city's fashion district around dawn Wednesday. Nine people were arrested.
Authorities believe drug cartels were funneling their profits through the companies in an international laundering scheme.
In one of three federal indictments that triggered the sweep, federal officials allege that a Los Angeles business laundered the ransom payment made to release a U.S. citizen tortured by a drug cartel in Mexico.
Police photos from the scene show confiscated $100-bills wrapped into packs of $10,000 and pilled into cardboard file boxes.