Traffic stop leads to half million in cartel drug money

A traffic stop in east Harris County led to the seizure of nearly $500,000 in drug money, according to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

On Wednesday, Oct. 29, Deputy R. Wade, of the HCSO’s Criminal Interdiction Unit, noticed a suspicious vehicle traveling east on I-10. The vehicle eventually pulled into a business located in the 17000 block of Market St.unnamed2





That’s where the deputy made contact with the driver who he noticed was acting very nervously. The driver claimed to be a construction worker and was wearing a yellow safety vest. However, his vest and boots were too clean for the line of work he claimed to do. The tools and toolbox inside his truck were also quite new which made Wade think they were all ‘props,’ a common practice used by suspects involved in currency and/or drug trafficking.

During a consensual search of the suspect and his vehicle, Wade found 17 bundles of cash in a tool box, and several others in a bag on the front passenger seat. In all, more than $448,000 in cash was seized, along with the vehicle. The driver and the vehicle were taken to the HCSO’s Wallisville substation where a K9 unit made a positive alert to the presence of narcotics coming from the packages.


The driver told deputies the “Gulf Coast Cartel” paid him to deliver the currency. The man was not arrested pending further investigation.

The day before, Wade stopped another vehicle from which $12,000 was seized. That money too is believed to be proceeds from drug trafficking.