A Texas sheriff’s deputy and his K-9 partner seized $21,000 in drug-laced cash during a routine traffic stop between Houston and San Antonio. The driver, a Mexican national, allegedly hid the money in a plastic bag containing a comforter.
Fayette County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Randy Thumann made a routine traffic stop of a 2014 Chevy Sonic with Mexican license plates on Interstate 10 near Flatonia, Texas. Thumann observed many “criminal indicators” of drug or money trafficking during his conversation with the man who presented a Mexican driver license for identification, according to Lt. David Beyer.
Thuman asked for consent to search the vehicle. The driver consented and Thuman came across a plastic bag containing a comforter. Inside, Thumann found bundles of cash.
The deputy deployed his K-9, Lobos, who inspected the money and alerted to drug contaminates on the cash.
Sgt. Thumann reportedly arrested Karim Tare Martinez-Hernandez, a Mexican national from Monterrey, Mexico.
In response to an inquiry from Breitbart Texas, Lt. Beyer said that jailers notified U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials about the arrest but their jail did not receive an immigration detainer before the suspect bonded out on a $10,000 bond.
Beyer said that Martinez-Hernandez allegedly told Thumann that he received the comforter containing the cash from a person in San Antonio. He indicated he had no idea the cash was wrapped in the comforter.
He later claimed he was traveling to “an unknown location in Houston” and that he was “traveling from Mexico to Houston to purchase barber equipment.”
The sheriff’s office seized the vehicle and the drugs after Lobos alerted to the presence of illegal drugs on the cash.
In February, Thumann and Lobos teamed up to seize $6 million in methamphetamine located in the fuel tank of a 2007 Chevy Tahoe, Breitbart Texas reported.
After Sgt. Thumann stopped the vehicle, he detected several criminal signals when speaking to the driver and the passenger. The Fayette County deputy asked if he could search the vehicle and the occupants gave their consent. During the initial search, K-9 Lobos alerted to the presence of narcotics.
The deputy and his police canine investigated further and found a false compartment inside the gas tank. Hidden in the receptacle was an estimated $6,000,000 (street value) of liquid methamphetamine, Beyer stated. There were 60 kilos of the drug in the tank.
Thumann arrested the two Mexican nationals–35-year-old Miguel Angel Lozano Alvarez and 24-year-old Alma Rosario Nieto Villarreal.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX, Gab, and Facebook.
Editor’s note: The original version of this report contained a typographical error stating an amount of $25,000. The correct figure is $21,000.