49-year-old Bobby Maldonado, a former Texas State Trooper and deputy, plead guilty to money laundering on May 12, according to reports by the Associated Press (AP). More specifically, he admitted to delivering drug proceeds from interior U.S. cities to the Texas-Mexican border.
The AP reported that if found guilty, Maldonado could spend up to 20 years behind bars.
He was initially arrested after being pulled over for a traffic violation. After a dog alerted cops, more than $1 million was discovered in the trunk of Maldonado’s car.
At the time of his 2012 arrest, Maldonado was apparently running for constable in Hidalgo County, Texas.
His scheme allegedly began in the 1990’s and continued for over 12 years, according to the AP.
Maldonado would regularly purchase one-way tickets to cities across the U.S., pick up drug money, rent a car, then drive the cash back to the Texas-Mexican border. Apparently he received three percent of the funds that he transported.
The former deputy reportedly laundered his money by investing it in various assets held under other names.
Ironically, during the years that Maldonado was a deputy in Hidalgo County, he worked under Lupe Trevino.
Breitbart Texas recently reported that Trevino, the former sheriff of Hidalgo County, has been involved in a highly-publicized corruption case of his own. Trevino pled guilty to money laundering on April 14 of this year. The plea came only 17 days after he stepped down from his position.
Trevino, with the help of some staff members, attempted to cover up campaign contributions paid in cash by a convicted drug trafficker. The total amount of contributions was reportedly between $70,000 and $120,000. A criminal complaint obtained by Breitbart Texas states that Trevino “knew that the property or currency involved represented the proceeds of some form of unlawful activity.”
A spokesperson from the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office told Breitbart Texas that J.E. “Eddie” Guerra took Trevino’s place and is now the Interim Sheriff.
Breitbart Texas’ Contributing Editor Sylvia Longmire said that it is not uncommon for local officials in border towns to become involved in the activities of drug-running organizations.
“In a place like south Texas that is economically disadvantaged in many areas, it’s increasingly difficult for some public officials to turn away from the large amounts of money involved in the drug business,” she said.
Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate.