Judge Sentences Trucker for Transporting Drug Money
Most Texans know that transporting illegal drugs is a serious crime. A recent sentencing points out another, lesser-known federal crime: transporting the proceeds of drug sales. Last week, a federal judge imposed the maximum sentence on a Texas man who pleaded guilty to transporting almost $800,000 in drug money.
While many federal and state laws specifically deal with drug offenses, traveling across state lines to assist organized crime is also a federal crime.
In this case, authorities stopped the trucker's vehicle to inspect it. They found $772,000 in cash after the trucker gave them permission to search the cab itself. After prosecutors indicted the man, he pled guilty to interstate travel in aid of a racketeering enterprise. The trucker also admitted that he had carried drug cash with him on earlier trips.
Unlike many other types of drug crimes, this offense can only occur where a defendant crosses state lines. The government is prosecuting the act of assisting with a crime in two or more states.
These charges illustrate how many options federal authorities have to prosecute drug-related criminal charges. This defendant apparently never transported or sold drugs. His only crime was carrying money from another state into Texas. Nevertheless, he will serve the maximum sentence for this crime: five years in a federal prison.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle, "Man gets 5-year sentence for trucking drug cash," Nov. 14, 2012