Money Seized Following Traffic Stop in Cameron Co.
BROWNSVILLE – A traffic stop in Brownsville led the Cameron County Sheriff’s deputies to confiscating more than $300,000.
Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio said the stop happened Sunday afternoon at the intersection of Owens Road and Boca Chica Boulevard.
The deputy noticed several duffle bags in the backseat of the vehicle. The driver also became nervous.
A K-9 was called in and alerted deputies to the money.
Lucio said the driver hasn’t been charged with a crime, and instead is working with authorities.
Lucio said the large amount of money and markings on the bundles indicate it may be profit related to cartel activities.
He said big seizures that judges have allowed them to keep in the past have helped buy vehicles, equipment and pay for overtime for his officers. He mentioned he’s hoping they can keep the money to benefit his officers.
“First of all, my people don’t make enough money because their pay is very low, and that’s why we lose a lot of officers. We have requested that they pay a certain amount because it’s costly for us to train someone and they stay here a couple of years, and you can’t blame these people because better pay. You’ve got a family. You try to better yourself, everybody tries to better themselves,” Lucio said.
The sheriff said in the past few months he’s lost about eight sheriff deputies and about 40 jailers to higher paying agencies. Another grant expires at the end of the year jeopardizing about 13 deputy positions.
He said right now there’s 105 total deputies and higher ranking officers.
For the size of Cameron County, he said he’d want up to 40 more deputies.
If the department gets to keep the money, they also have to abide by guidelines that state the money can only be used for certain purposes.
The man found in possession of the money hasn’t been charged with a crime. Authorities said they’re hoping he will lead them to more significant arrests.