Southbound lanes of US 59 equals cash cow
By LeaAnne Klentzman
Sheriff’s spokesman Bob Haenel said, “Members of the Fort Bend County Narcotics Task Force, and a Houston High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area initiative, seized $509,000 in U.S. currency last week concealed in a vehicle traveling south on U.S. 59.”
According to law enforcement officials, the Task Force was on US 59 last Wednesday conducting “Highway Interdiction” when Detective M.R. Hricko observed a tractor-trailer traveling on U.S. 59 near Cottonwood Church Road.
Haenel said, “Hricko observed the tractor trailer make several erratic lane changes, and then conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle near Daily Road.” During that traffic stop, Hricko’s partner, a K9 unit named Mike, searched the truck and discovered $509,000 in concealed cash.
The driver, identified as Javier Jose Lopez, 38, from Harlingen, Texas was arrested and charged with Money Laundering greater than $200,000. His bond was set at $125,000. The first degree charge carries a punishment of up to 99 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. The charge is also punishable with probation. Haenel said, “The vehicle and the U.S. currency was impounded by Task Force Agents and a Chapter 59 Seizure Affidavit was filed with the Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office.”
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