SOUTH TEXAS MAN ARRESTED BY TEXAS DPS DURING A TRAFFIC STOP IN BROWNWOOD, TEXAS, IS INDICTED ON FEDERAL CHARGES
Law Enforcement Seized Nearly $700,000 in Cash Hidden in His Truck
LUBBOCK, Texas — A federal grand jury in Lubbock, Texas, returned a two-count indictment yesterday charging Oscar M. Escobar, 36, of Rocksprings, Texas, with conspiracy to commit bulk cash smuggling and attempted bulk cash smuggling, announced U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas. Rocksprings is located approximately two hours south of San Angelo.
According to documents filed in the case, on Friday, May 6, 2011, a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Officer conducted a routine traffic stop of Escobar, who was driving his truck on Highway 377 South in Brownwood, Texas. A complete search revealed that approximately $696,021 was stashed and secreted in his truck.
The indictment alleges that Escobar conspired with others and knowingly concealed approximately $696,021 in U.S. currency, attempting to transport it from Mineral Wells, Texas, to Del Rio, Texas, for ultimate delivery to Acuna, Mexico.
A federal indictment is an accusation by a grand jury and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. If convicted, however, the conspiracy count carries a maximum statutory sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The attempted cash smuggling count carries, upon conviction, a maximum statutory sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. In addition, the indictment included a forfeiture allegation which would require Escobar, upon conviction, to forfeit the seized funds to the U.S.
The case is being investigated by DPS, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Brown County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey R. Haag of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Lubbock, is in charge of the prosecution. Assistant U.S. Attorney John de la Garza, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Dallas, is handling the forfeiture.
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