By CHRISTIN COYNE
After a traffic stop late Monday night in Parker County, the Texas Department of Public Safety seized more than $54,000 from a man who, DPS says, admitted to trafficking in narcotics for people he met in Mexico.
Oscar Oregel Jr., 20, with an Arlington address, was arrested and charged with money laundering. Oregel remained in the Parker County Jail as of Thursday evening with bond set at $500,000.
After stopping a 2013 black Dodge Charger driven by Oregel for speeding, DPS Trooper Jake Smith interviewed Oregel, finding numerous criminal indicators and asking questions that Oregel could not answer, according to court documents.
At one point, Oregel allegedly told the trooper that he had $50,000 in U.S. currency in the trunk of his car.
Oregel reportedly explained to DPS that he was visiting his family in Mexico when he became involved in an altercation with some unknown men at a bar before he was taken by the suspects and told he would transport drugs for them for his family would be harmed.
He agreed to deliver the narcotics and currency between Los Angeles and Atlanta and be paid for his efforts, Oregel reportedly told DPS investigators.
He reportedly admitted to picking up a box with bundles of suspected drugs in Los Angeles and transporting it to Atlanta, where two unknown men reportedly met him in a store parking lot, picked up the box and told him to wait.
They returned two days later with the bag of money, telling him to bring it to Los Angeles, Oregel reportedly told investigators.
At one point, Oregel stated that he would rather be in jail than face the suspects that the money was to go to, according to DPS Criminal Investigations Division Agent James Blacknell.
Law enforcement reportedly located a green duffle bag containg a box with 27 bundles of cash, totaling $54,380, in the vehicle.
A Parker County Sheriff’s Office K-9, trained to alert on narcotics, alerted on the vehicle and box, according to Blacknell, who wrote that another CID investigator recognized the smell of cocaine in the car and while observing the bag.