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Feds arrest two Texas teens including relative of Mexican governor for attempting to smuggle $900K in drug cash

July 19, 2018  |  Posted by: Michael Falzarano
Feds arrest two Texas teens including relative of Mexican governor for attempting to smuggle $900K in drug cash Photo shows (Martinez second from far right) with the Tamaulipas state Governor

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Feds charged two Texas teens with bulk cash smuggling

Federal law enforcement officials arrested two 19-year-old men including a Texas college student Tuesday, for bulk cash smuggling after attempting to smuggle nearly $900,000 in suspected drug money on a flight from San Antonio to Mexico.

Authorities charged Rafael Gabriel Martinez Leal and Joan Pablo Hoyos Avila with bulk-cash smuggling charge.

Martinez is a relative of Tamaulipas state Governor Francisco García Cabeza de Vaca.

Local reports indicate Martínez is a cousin of Mariana Gómez de García Cabeza de Vaca, the wife of the governor.

According to the San Antonio Express-News, Hoyos was identified as a business student at the University of the Incarnate Word, a private Catholic university in San Antonio.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents diverted a private plane for inspection at San Antonio International Airport, as the flight prepared to depart for Monterrey, Mexico.

The bundles of cash were discovered inside sealed boxes aboard the plane.

The report said agents questioned the craft’s five occupants – including the pilot – if they had any valuables to declare.

According to an affidavit, Martinez accepted full responsibility for the bulk cash smuggling operation.

Meanwhile, Hoyos told investigators that he had received cash from several individuals and stored it in his garage and waited for Martinez to pick it up.

Additionally, Martinez admitted to federal agents that he smuggled $1 million weekly from the United States to Mexico.

The two suspects appeared in federal court Tuesday afternoon on the bulk-cash smuggling charge and remain in custody.

Both teens, who are scheduled to appear back in court on July 26th, face up to five years in prison if convicted.

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