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$1 Million in Gulf Cartel Cash seized during traffic stop in south Texas

February 4, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
$1 Million in Gulf Cartel Cash seized during traffic stop in south Texas

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U.S. officials are tracking down the individuals responsible for a shipment of 1 million dollars headed south to the Gulf Cartel in Mexico.

Homeland Security agents are expanding on a traffic stop that took place in Kingsville, Texas, where officers seized 69 bundles with $1,071,503 in the cabin of a tractor-trailer traveling to McAllen.

According to the KingsvilleĀ Record, Santos Hernandez Juarez, employed a B1-B2 visa to drive in the U.S. for a company based in Donna, Texas.

The suspect was stopped by officers in Kingsville because his license plate was covered.

Police officials said Hernandez seemed extremely nervous, raising the suspicions of the officer who requested consent to search the vehicle. The officer noticed that the mattress in the truckā€™s cabin was heavier than usual and located 69 bundles of cash inside.

Gulf cartel cash seized in Texas

(Photo: Kingsville Police Department)

The truck was brought to the Kingsville Police Station where a K-9 was used to search for drugs, money, or firearms. The dog signaled to the cabin area where the cash was found.

Hernandez originally told authorities that he delivered a load of produce to New York and was on his way back when three men asked him to deliver an unknown item to McAllen. He was promised USD 9,000 in exchange for the delivery

Homeland Security agents asked Hernandez to look at his three phones. After he agreed, investigators discovered messages that countered his original version of events. When confronted, Hernandez altered his story. Hernandez said that he met a man at a mechanic shop in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, who said that he could make extra cash.

The man told Hernandez to wait for another person to contact and organize the delivery of money, and in turn, he would receive 1.5% of the funds safely delivered to McAllen, Texas.

Hernandez has been formally charged with one count of smuggling and is in federal custody without bond. HSI agents indicated in the criminal complaint that the operation was linked to the Gulf Cartel, which is in control of Matamoros and is considered to be a brutal criminal group that regularly uses tractor-trailers to smuggle drugs north and money south.

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