Records show Crime Stopper tips lead to drug, cash seizure

MGN Online

A probable cause affidavit reveals how multiple tips to McAllen Crime Stoppers resulted in at least three arrests and the seizure of more than a pound of cocaine, nearly 3 pounds of marijuana, almost 200 THC cartridges and more than $61,000 in alleged drug proceeds.

The charging document for 21-year-old Mission resident Carlos Manuel Ruiz on allegations of money laundering between $30,000 and $150,000 credits the anonymous tipline for initiating the investigation into a residence at 208 Walnut Ave. in McAllen where police made the seizure on March 26.

McAllen police say they initiated surveillance at the house after receiving multiple tips and, according to the probable affidavit, investigators observed suspicious activity.

Upon arrival, investigators say they saw an Audi A4 registered to Luis Angel Lopez Regis parked in reverse in the driveway. During the course of surveillance, several other vehicles arrived at various times, including a VW Jetta driven by Luis Peña, a black Tesla driven by an unidentified Hispanic man, a white Ford Fusion driven by Ruiz with an unidentified passenger and a white Dodge Ram driven by Horacio DeJesus Chavarria, according to the charging document.

Police say they watched Ruiz and the passenger knock on the door and go inside.

The investigator says in the probable cause affidavit that at some point Regis walked to the Audi’s trunk and remove a brown suitcase before walking back inside the house and then at some point exiting the house and putting the suitcase in the trunk before getting into the driver’s seat.

Chavarria also exits the house and gets into the Ram, according to police.

At some point Ruiz also left the residence, investigators say.

Rodolfo Mauricio Davila, a 29-year-old McAllen resident who was arrested on April 10 on four drug charges, is then seen leaving the house, locking the door and getting in the vehicle with Regis, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Police followed the men to a “plaza” parking lot where they say they met 37-year-old Palmhurst resident Carlos Gonzalez, who took the suitcase and put it inside his Cadillac SRX, the charging document alleges.

Investigators stopped him for what they say was a traffic violation and found 100 THC cartridges in four flavors inside the suitcase, according to police. He is charged with manufacturing or delivering a controlled substance and was arrested on March 26.

Meanwhile, police had prepared a search warrant for the house on Walnut and that’s where they say they found more than a pound of cocaine, 2.75 pounds of marijuana, 97 THC cartridges weighing 1,379.66 grams, a scale, a money counter, $36,650 in cash, $20,540 in money orders, $4,000 in money grams for a total of $61,190, as well as a notebook and narcotics packaging, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Investigators say they found the cash and money orders inside a Luis Vuitton box inside the kitchen’s oven.

As for Ruiz, who was arrested on April 10, police say they watched him purchase two money orders.

The probable cause affidavit also details how investigators say Chavarria purchased 15 money orders at six gas stations over a two-day period totaling $7,500.

Investigators also say they have evidence a man named Rene Efrain Torres drove to five gas stations in one day and purchased 24 money orders totaling $12,000.

The probable cause affidavit for Ruiz alleges all of these purchases were related to drug proceeds from the house on Walnut Avenue.

Online jail records and booking reports do not return records for arrests for Torres, Regis, Peña or Chavarria.

mreagan@themonitor.com