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Bundles of suspected heroin found in car battery, money in axel transfer case

Posted at 4:08 PM, Oct 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-31 17:08:44-04

Ten pounds of suspected black tar heroin and two suspected drug dealers are off the streets thanks to the South Texas Specialized Crime and Narcotics Task Force.  The seizures were a result of two separate traffic stops on U.S. Highway 77 in Kleberg County.

During the first stop, a task force agent stopped a rental car that was leased in Houston, Texas, and discovered 33 small bundles of suspected black tar heroin concealed inside the car battery.  The heroin was later weighed and the gross weight was approximately 10 pounds.

The rental car driver was arrested and booked at the Coastal Bend Detention Center pending the filing of a Federal Criminal Complaint for Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance.  He is identified as Houston, Texas, resident Marlo Denise Young.

A short time after this stop, agents made a second traffic stop that led to the discovery of bundles of cash.  They pulled over a pickup truck driven by a Mexican citizen and national, identified as Luis Ernesto Soberanis-Cardenas.  Their search of Soberanis’ vehicle revealed the front axle transfer case had been hollowed out creating a compartment for contraband.  Inside the altered transfer case, agents found four bundles of U.S. currency later determined to contain a total of $54,105.00.  Soberanis-Cardenas was arrested and booked at the Kleberg County Jail and charged for money laundering.

The South Texas Specialized Crimes and Narcotics Task Force is a member of the Houston Money Laundering Initiative (HMLI); a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Program dedicated expressly to the identification, disruption and dismantling of Money Laundering Organizations (MLOs).  The Task Force also works closely with the Homeland Security Investigations Office in Corpus Christi to stem the flow of illegal drugs, weapons and cash between the United States and Mexico.