A Houston narcotics task force found more than a half million dollars in cash hidden in a tractor-trailer during a “Highway Interdiction” on Sept. 12. The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office reported the task force seized $509,000 in cash from Javier Jose Lopez’s vehicle and impounded the vehicle.
The Fort Bend County Narcotics Task Force is an Intensity Drug Trafficking Area initiative in Houston, TX. It was there that Detective M.R. Hricko, a K-9 handler and member of the task force, observed Lopez’s tractor-trailer traveling south on U.S. 59 and making several erratic lane changes in Rosenberg. The sheriff’s office reported that during a traffic stop, the officer became suspicious of Lopez and used his K-9 to conduct a detailed search of the vehicle.
The detective discovered the cash concealed in the vehicle. Lopez, 38, of San Juan, TX, was then arrested and charged with money laundering in an amount greater than $200,000. He is being held on $125,000 bond.
The money was held under a Chapter 59 Seizure Affidavit, which is a “federal statute used to seize money believed to be the result of drug assets, drug sales or a felony criminal offense,” Captain Rodney Glendening told Land Line.
The charge is a first-degree felony. If found guilty, Lopez faces five to 99 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.