EIGHTEEN Mexicans detained with $9.2 million (£5.65m) in cash in Nicaragua have been found guilty of drug trafficking, money laundering and organised crime.
The group was detained in August near the border with Honduras while travelling in six vans with logos used by Mexican TV giant Televisa. The bundles of cash had been stashed in compartments inside the vehicles.
Judge Edgard Altamirano said evidence showed the 17 men and one woman had been members of an organised crime network.
They told authorities at the time they were members of a Televisa news crew that had travelled to Nicaragua to cover the trial of suspects linked to the 2011 killing of Argentine folk singer Facundo Cabral.
Nicaraguan authorities said the elaborate ruse was intended to smuggle the cash to Costa Rica to the south.