The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) announced on Friday that troopers discovered and seized more than $600,000 in U.S. currency during a traffic stop in a South Texas border county. The seizure occurred on Thursday morning about about 10:15 a.m.
Troopers stopped a vehicle for a routine traffic violation. The Ford Focus was allegedly being driven by Pasqual Arturo Sigala Duran, 51, of Nuevo Leon, Mexico. His immigration status was not available at this time. The Ford Focus was registered in Mexico with Mexican license plates, according to DPS Sgt. Johnny Hernandez who spoke on the phone with Breitbart Texas.
“The troopers stopped the vehicle for a routine traffic violation,” Hernandez said. “They became suspicious and asked for consent to search.” He said the driver gave consent.
A search of the vehicle revealed cash that was hidden in the rocker panel of the car.
Sigala Duran was arrested for money laundering and booked into the Hidalgo County jail. Further investigation will be conducted by DPS Criminal Investigations Division Special Agents.
“Our troopers are hard workers,” Hernandez said proudly. “They focus on safety and stopping crimes like this.”
The traffic stop occurred in the southbound lanes of U.S. Highway 281. Troopers discovered 65 bundles of cash totaling $620,000.
DPS Spokesman Tom Vinger said the seizure is part of the ongoing Operation Strong Safety. The operation by Texas law enforcement and military forces has been on-going since last summer.
The Texas Legislature is currently working on bills dealing with border security that have been passed by both the House and the Senate. The same bills have not been passed out of both houses so the future of the border security plan remains unresolved.