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April 24, 2020Brownsville, TX, United StatesContraband

Truck driver charged with bringing nearly $2 million in cocaine to south Texas

BROWNSVILLE, Texas — A Michigan man was charged in federal court Friday for money laundering and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine.

This case is being conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) McAllen Office with assistance from the U.S Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Edgardo Serrano, 51, from New Boston, Michigan was charged April 24, 2020 by U.S. District Judge Ignacio Torteva III.

According to court documents, HSI filed the criminal complaint April 18, against Serrano. It alleges that on April 17, HSI and DEA had searched a mechanics shop in Hidalgo, Texas, which resulted in the discovery of $1.7 million hidden in a commercial tractor. The investigation revealed Serrano had been driving the vehicle, according to the charges. The complaint further alleges Serrano was in the Rio Grande Valley to pick up a load of carrots, but it appeared to be a cover for what was a shipment of cocaine destined for Florida. The hidden cash was allegedly the proceeds of the illegal narcotics sales in Florida.

If convicted, Serrano faces up to life in federal prison and a possible $10 million fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Betancourt, Southern District of Texas is prosecuting the case.

A criminal complaint is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence and a defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.