Weslaco traffic stop nets nearly $400K in alleged drug money

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A Mexican citizen was arrested Wednesday after a Hidalgo County sheriff’s deputy conducted a traffic stop and discovered large bundles of bulk cash that amounted to nearly half a million dollars, according to a criminal complaint.

Martin Aron Ramos-Guerrero, born in 1977, was charged with knowingly and intentionally attempting to evade a currency reporting requirement by knowingly concealing more than $10,000 in United States currency.

The deputy conducted a traffic stop on an international tractor hauling a trailer in Weslaco when Ramos-Guerrero provided consent to a search of the tractor, according to the complaint.

During the search, the deputy found two large bundles wrapped in clear plastic wrap concealed in a natural void in the dashboard of the tractor.

“Agents know this wrapping and concealment with how bulk cash currency is known to be transported and smuggled out of the United States,” the complaint said.

Ramos-Guerrero was taken into custody for interview purposes where he stated that he picked up a package of currency in Houston and drove south with the intention of entering Mexico.

He added that he concealed the two bundles where they were found in an attempt to smuggle the money into Mexico without detection.

On Thursday, Drug Enforcement Administration special agents conducted an inventory inspection of the tractor and located additional bundles of currency hidden within the tractor with numbers believed to be the denominations or value written on them, according to the complaint.

The total amount of the currency seized was approximately $406,445.

Ramos-Guerrero is scheduled to reappear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nadia S. Medrano for his preliminary examination and detention hearing set for Tuesday morning.