Texas Border Man Arrested With $250 K in Cartel Cash

Texas Border Man Arrested With $250 K in Cartel Cash

BROWNSVILLE, Texas — A Texas border man came close to having his thanksgiving dinner in a jail cell after federal agents caught him allegedly trying to smuggle more than $250,000 in cash into Mexico.

Agents with U.S. Customs and Border Protection arrested 23-year-old Hipolito Garcia Jr. at the Brownsville Matamoros International Bridge after finding more than $259,000 in undeclared cash hidden inside his 2007 Volkswagen Jetta.

Drug cartels use individuals to smuggle their illegal proceeds from the U.S. to Mexico. It is not uncommon to find multiple individuals bringing in cash bundles on a regular basis from the U.S. to Mexico.

Garcia had been driving from Brownsville to Mexico when federal agents at the bridge sent him to a secondary inspection area and after getting the vehicle X-rayed found two tightly packed bundles of cash inside the car.

Garcia refused to speak with federal agents during questioning. A U.S. Magistrate Judge formally charged Garcia with cash smuggling and set his bond at $50,000 with a cash deposit of $5,000. After posting bond, federal agents released him until his future court hearing giving him the opportunity celebrate Thanksgiving outside of a jail cell. 

Follow Ildefonso Ortiz on Twitter @ildefonsoortiz