Authorities find over $400,000 in man’s pickup truck

Authorities on Monday re-arrested a man who had been released pending investigation of the seizure of over $400,000 in suspected narcotics proceeds from his pickup truck during a traffic stop in Brownsville last month, according to court records.

Authorities wrote in a federal criminal complaint that Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Agents arrested a man named Oziel Trevino-Silva on July 8 following a traffic stop at the intersection of Sam Perl and Mexico Boulevard.

Agents discovered 11 packages wrapped in gray tape hidden behind the rear bench of the Ford F150, which were cut open to reveal U.S. currency, according to the document.

An official count of the eleven bundles showed the total of the seizure was $412,000. Trevino-Silva told investigators the currency wasn’t his and was ultimately released from custody pending further investigation, the complaint stated.

In an affidavit, officials wrote that investigators learned through a cooperating defendant that Trevino-Silva was recruited to transport the currency from Brownsville to Matamoros.

The defendant stated that Trevino-Silva attempted to cross his truck the day prior to the July 8 seizure, but was turned back by Mexican customs for improper paperwork, according to the document.

The cooperating defendant advised agents that Trevino-Silva, working with the defendant, then plotted to extract approximately four bundles of currency for personal gain and to profit from the total amount by misleading authorities.

“ Trevino-Silva told the CD he (Trevino-Silva) felt he was being placed at risk of getting caught by law enforcement because his co-conspirators in Mexico were urging him to cross the vehicle even though he has already been turned back at the Mexican Port of Entry,” agents wrote.

On Aug. 11, agents learned that Trevino-Silva’s son had been kidnapped in Mexico because of his father’s alleged decision to steal the money, the complaint stated.

“ Since August 14, Agents have attempted to locate Trevino-Silva,” wrote officials. The document stated that agents suspected him to be residing in the San Antonio area.

According to the affidavit, Trevino-Silva told agents he would meet them on Aug. 15 to further the investigation into the money and the subsequent kidnapping of his son.

He never showed up, prompting agents to initiate a search using his phone number, which proved unsuccessful as Trevino-Silva appeared to have his phone turned off, the complaint stated.

Authorities wrote in the affidavit that agents located Trevino-Silva’s address and vehicle in the San Antonio area last Thursday after speaking with a second cooperating defendant, who had crossed into the United States from Mexico.

A warrant entered into the case file on Monday confirmed that law enforcement successfully arrested Trevino-Silva.

esheridan@brownsvilleherald.com