Posted: Nov 14, 2012 3:50 PM
Updated: Nov 14, 2012 3:51 PM
BEAUMONT, Texas (AP) A South Texas trucker has been sentenced to five years in federal prison after admitting to carrying nearly $800,000 in drug trafficking proceeds in his rig.
A federal judge sentenced Natividad Ovalle Jr. in Beaumont on Wednesday, almost five months after he pleaded guilty to interstate travel in aid of racketeering enterprise.
The 41-year-old Alamo man received the maximum sentence under law.
Investigators say the truck and trailer were stopped April 14 on Interstate 10 near Orange for an inspection. Ovalle agreed to let officers search the rig. Authorities located a bag with dozens of taped bundles of cash, adding up to nearly $772,000.
Ovalle says he knew the money was from drug trafficking and that he made other cash-hauling trips, earning at least $15,000 each time.