Bernardo Varela update: Ex-corrections officer pleads guilty in drug case

BISBEE, AZ - A former Arizona Department of Corrections officer has pleaded guilty to money laundering charges stemming from an investigation that found marijuana trafficking proceeds being moved through bank accounts.

The Arizona Attorney General's Office says 35-year-old Bernardo Varela pleaded guilty on Jan. 8. He will be sentenced Feb. 14 in Cochise County Superior Court.

Varela resigned from the Department of Corrections after the Attorney General's Office interviewed him on Jan. 18, 2013.

The investigation was conducted by the Attorney General's Office, Douglas police and state Department of Corrections.

It found that deposits of large amounts of cash were made in banks in numerous states and withdrawn in Arizona by family members and associates of Varela.

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