Department of Justice
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June 19, 2012

IH-10 Truck Driver Guilty of Transporting Drug Money through Orange County

BEAUMONT, Texas -  A 41-year-old Alamo, Texas man has pleaded guilty to federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.   

Natividad Ovalle, Jr. pleaded guilty to interstate travel in aid of racketeering enterprise today before U.S. District Judge Keith F. Giblin.

According to information presented in court, on Apr. 14, 2012, Ovalle was driving a truck and trailer on Interstate 10 near Orange, Texas, when he was stopped for an inspection.  Ovalle consented to a search of the truck and trailer, during which a large duffle bag containing 59 duct taped bundles of currency was discovered.  Ovalle admitted that he had also transported money on prior occasions and was paid between $15,000 and $18,000for each trip.  Ovalle also admitted to knowing the money was from proceeds of a drug trafficking enterprise.  The bundles found in the duffle bag were counted and determined to be $771,780.00.  Ovalle was indicted by a federal grand jury on Apr. 18, 2012. 

            Ovalle faces up to five years in federal prison at sentencing.  A sentencing date has not been set.

                This case is being investigated by the DEA, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher T. Tortorice.

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