Money laundering charges tied to more than $700K in gold coins, cash

A local man faces federal money laundering charges related to an alleged attempt to bribe a public official, records show.

According to the indictment against Jose Luis Trejo, in February of this year, Trejo “conducted or attempted to conduct a financial transaction affecting interstate or foreign commerce involving property represented by (Trejo) to be proceeds and property used to conduct or facilitate specified unlawful activity,” the record shows.

Trejo allegedly attempted to bribe a public official in order to smuggle unidentified goods from the U.S. to carry on with concealing the nature, location, source, and ownership of property believed to be proceeds from unlawful activity, the indictment against Trejo states.

In addition to the allegations, Trejo also attempted to do all of the above while avoiding transaction reporting requirements.

The government looks to take roughly $347,356 in gold coins seized on Feb. 14, another $400,000 in U.S. currency, and 5.03 acres of land at a property in McAllen, records show.

Trejo, who was indicted Oct. 7 on the aforementioned charges, made his initial appearance before a magistrate judge Thursday, records show. He will remain in custody pending a detention hearing where a Court could grant a bond release.

If convicted of the charge, Trejo faces up to 10 years in federal prison.