A court granted a Michigan man bond Friday after more than $1 million was found inside his tractor truck inside a Hidalgo mechanic’s shop.
The court granted Edgardo Serrano, 51, of New Boston, Michigan, a $100,000 bond during a teleconference initial appearance in connection with money laundering and drug conspiracy charges related to his arrest on April 18.
The criminal complaint charging Serrano, filed that same day, alleges that federal agents had searched a mechanic’s shop in Hidalgo and subsequently discovered nearly $2 million in bulk cash.
“The complaint further alleges Serrano was in the Rio Grande Valley to pick up a load of carrots, but it appeared to be a cover for what was actually a cocaine shipment destined for Florida,” stated a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas.
The hidden cash was allegedly the proceeds of the illegal narcotics sales in Florida, the release stated.
The complaint stated a source of information, who was arrested after he was found in possession of 59 kilograms of cocaine, told federal agents the cocaine was part of a bigger load that was to be taken to a truck driver he referred to as “the Cuban,” later identified as Serrano.
On April 16, the source was ordered to load 75 kilograms of cocaine into Serrano’s tractor truck, the document stated.
“The (source) also told agents the Cuban is present when the cocaine is delivered. The (source) stated ‘the Cuban’ offloads bulk cash from the fuel tank compartment and loads the cocaine into the fuel tank compartment with the assistance of others,” the complaint stated.
On April 17, federal agents executed a search warrant at a mechanic’s shop in Hidalgo based on information given from their cooperating source.
“During the search, agents observed a tractor truck similar to the truck previously described; a white tractor truck, with no trailer. It was parked beside the trailer described by the (source) and inside the trailer, agents found a money counter and large bags of rubber bands, consistent with items needed to count and organize large quantities of bulk cash,” the complaint stated.
During a search of the tractor truck, agents discovered a hidden compartment.
“Inside the compartment, agents found (47) bundles of U.S. currency,” the document states. “There were numbers indicating amounts on each bundle. According to the markings already on the bundles, it is estimated the currency is approximately $1.7 million U.S. dollars.”
If convicted, Serrano faces up to life in federal prison and a possible $10 million fine, the release stated.