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Mesquite Police seize $74,727 during routine traffic stop

posted Oct 22, 2012, 7:55 PM by Kimberly Otero   [ updated Mar 31, 2014, 2:25 PM by Tyson Kennedy ]
Mesquite Police were conducting routine traffic enforcement on Sunday morning, October 21st, on I-15 near mile marker 121 when they observed a Silver Chevy, Malibu traveling in the southbound lanes with no illumination on the rear license plate .

Officers conducted a traffic stop and spoke with the driver, Jose Hernandez-Rodriguez and the passenger, Jose Antonio Cruz-Orazco neither of which had a valid driver’s license as well as the Malibu’s registration was suspended for no insurance.  Mesquite Police Officers observed multiple indicators of criminal activity.


“Mesquite Police Officers are trained in drug interdictions as part of the department’s efforts to keep drugs out of Mesquite,” said Troy Tanner, Chief of Police.


During a search of the vehicle prior to impound, officers noticed that there was an after-market hidden compartment built into the vehicle which contained several plastic wrapped packages containing $74,727.00 in US currency.


Rodriguez and Orazco were taken into custody by special agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Las Vegas.


“This weekend’s arrests and cash seizure are a direct result of the extraordinary cooperation between ICE Homeland Security Investigations and the Mesquite Police Department. I should underscore that the federal investigation into this incident is ongoing,” said Michael Harris, assistant special agent in charge for HSI Las Vegas. “As this case demonstrates, Las Vegas has become an increasingly significant transfer point for drug and currency distribution.”