|For years, Spaniard Alvaro Lopez Tardón was living the ultimate high life in Miami—fancy cars, seaside condos, designer jewelry and clothes. But it all came crashing down in the summer of 2011 when he was named in a U.S. federal money laundering indictment as the head of an international narcotics trafficking ring.|
Tardón made his initial mark in the drug trade in the 1990s, when he and his brother Artemio worked for a ruthless drug trafficker in Spain. By the early 2000s, the Tardón brothers began a bloody feud with their boss and began their own criminal enterprise.
Alvardo directed the enterprise from Miami while second-in-command Artemio ran things from Madrid.
|They were successful — their enterprise was believed responsible for distributing more than 7,500 kilos of South American cocaine in Spain and laundering more than $14 million in illegal drug proceeds in the United States. The money laundering of the illegal drug profits used purchases of luxury vehicles and high-end real estate in the Miami area.|
|Tardon's $3.5m collection of seized luxury cars included a Bugatti Veyron, Rolls-Royce Ghost and a Maybach. In late 2015, after being tried and convicted on numerous money laundering charges, Tardón was sentenced to 150 years in jail, exchanging one of his spacious South Beach penthouses for a federal prison cell where he will spend the rest of his life.|