Big Bust: Women arrested in $450,000 money laundering case - Brownsville Herald: Local News

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Big Bust: Women arrested in $450,000 money laundering case

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Posted: Wednesday, October 9, 2019 9:45 pm

An obscured license plate.

This is what prompted Cameron County sheriff deputies to conduct a traffic stop on a red Kia that lead to the seizure of $450,000.

During a Wednesday press conference, Sheriff Omar Lucio said the Cameron County Special Investigations Unit seized the money during a routine traffic stop Tuesday evening in Brownsville.

The stop led to the arrest of two women from Mexican nationalities that were driving from Houston to M exico. The women, identified as Dolores Raquel Toquero Perez and Karen Aline Toxqui Chacon, were driving a red Kia car with plates from Jalisco when they were stopped near Carmen Avenue because the plates of the vehicle were obscured and officers could not see where they’re from, Lucio said.

“The traffic stop, I understand from the officer, is because some of the plates were obscured, you could not read where they were from,” Lucio said. “That’s a Texas violation.”

The money was found in the trunk of the car inside boxes of diapers and detergent. Lucio said when Toquero Perez and Toxqui Chacon were pulled over they started to act very nervous and provided a conflicted story. They were both arrested and are facing charges of money laundering. If convicted, they will face 5 to 99 years and up to a $10,000, Lucio said.

“The search yielded a large amount of loose currency inside two separate wallets in the driver side door pocket,” he said. “Inside the trunk, the deputies noticed a large box of detergent and boxes of baby diapers, but no baby in the vehicle, promoting suspicion to the officer. During the inspection, the officer noticed the boxes were heavy and that the sealing tape had been tampered with.”

Both women, ages 42 and 40, were transported to the Sheriff’s Office for questioning and during the interview Toquero Perez denied having knowledge of the bundles and claimed an unknown person placed the boxes of diapers into the trunk of the vehicle while they were in Houston. Their bond was set for $150,000 each.

Lucio said the money will be held in the Sheriff’s Office until the case is presented and that a judge will decide what will happen to it.

“The money is held here until we present the case, while we give the information to the District Attorney, he will take it to the grand jury and many times, it’s up to the judge, they may award the money to the Sheriff’s Office because they were the ones who confiscated the money, if that happens, we have an understanding and a contract with the district attorney and he gets a share of some of the money,” Lucio said. “That’s the way the law reads and that’s the way we do it.”

nreyna@brownsvilleherald.com

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