Trucker who hauled nearly $2 million in drug money sent to prison
BROWNSVILLE, Texas – A 52-year-old man has been ordered to federal prison after he admitted to one count of money laundering, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
Edgardo Serrano pleaded guilty Nov. 2, 2020, admitting he drove $1,758,465 in proceeds from the sale of illegal narcotics from Florida to the Rio Grande Valley. He is originally from New Boston, Michigan, but now resides in Miami, Florida.
Today, U.S. District Judge Fernando Rodriguez Jr. ordered him to serve a 72-month sentence to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release. At the hearing, the court heard additional evidence detailing the importance of the $1,758,465 payment in exchange for more cocaine being sent to Miami. In handing down the sentence, Judge Rodriguez noted the large amount of cocaine the $1.7 million represented.
The investigation revealed trucks would pick up cocaine from South Texas to be driven to Florida for illegal sale. Drivers like Serrano would then return to the Rio Grande Valley with the illegal drug proceeds for delivery into Mexico to drug cartel members.
Authorities discovered Serrano in Hidalgo County April 17, 2020, with drug money secreted in his semi-tractor-trailer.
As part of his plea, he agreed to forfeit the $1,758,465 as illegal money obtained from the sale of cocaine.
Serrano was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations Drug Enforcement Administration and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives jointly conducted the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation titled La Familia Tradicion. Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Betancourt prosecuted the case.
OCDETF is the largest anti-crime task force in the country. Its mission is to disrupt and dismantle the most significant drug trafficking and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States through prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency task forces that leverage the authorities and expertise of federal, state and local law enforcement.