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Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Sisters sentenced for smuggling suspected drug money | Houston & Texas News | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle

Sisters sentenced for smuggling suspected drug money | Houston & Texas News | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle: "San Benito sisters were sentenced to federal prison Monday for trying to smuggle into Mexico nearly $400,000 of suspected drug money that had been picked up in Houston.
Zu-Haidy Berenice Torres, 31, and Karla Judith Torres, 25, were each sentenced to two years in prison for evading a currency reporting requirement, according to federal authorities.
They each must also serve three years of supervised release.
They were convicted Jan. 7 after pleading guilty.
Federal officials said the pair tried to smuggle $399,113 in cash across the border at the Los Indios International Bridge in Brownsville on Aug 12.
Karla Torres told authorities a man in Mexico she knew only as “Gordo“ paid her $5,000 to pick up the cash in Houston. She said she believed the cash was drug money, though officials did not elaborate on her contention.
Federal officials said Karla Torres told them she picked up the money in the parking lot of a Houston Wal-Mart, where a man she didn't know gave her a black briefcase stuffed with the cash.
Once she got to the Rio Grande Valley, she asked her sister to help her smuggle the money across the border.
At the border crossing, agents noticed that the sisters appeared nervous and searched them and their Ford Expedition.
They discovered cash hidden in the lining of the women's purses and stashed under the SUV's back seat, federal authorities said.
Federal regulations require people to declare money in excess of $10,000 when they cross the border into Mexico"

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