JASPER COUNTY - by Mike Lout/KJAS - Jasper County Sheriff Mitchel Newman said Monday that officers with his department, along with the Drug Enforcement Administration have uncovered what was believed to be a large money laundering and transporting operation here in the Jasper.
Newman said that the original lead in the investigation came with officers with the D.E.A. learned that a vehicle believed to be involved in the trafficking of drugs was making routine trips from the Houston area to home here in Jasper.
According to Newman, officers went to the residence at 294 Daley Street, in what is known as the Shady Acres Addition, where they observed the home and three vehicles parked outside.
Newman said that after trained drug dogs hit on three different vehicles and both the front and back door of the brick residence, he and others presented a probable cause statement to a District Judge and obtained an evidentiary search warrant for the home.
Newman said that upon entering the residence, officers found a total of $168,421.00 in cash and also plastic and duck tape that was apparently being used to wrap the money into small rectangular packages. In addition, officers also questioned two individuals that were said to be at the residence, but later released them.
Following additional investigation Newman said that he and others soon located another residence at 658 Stone Street, not far from the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department, on the east side of town, where a similar operation had also been set up. However, Newman said that no money was found at that address and that it appeared that it had not been utilized.
Newman said in all a total of five vehicles, all said to be rigged out as service trucks, with boxes and drawers on their sides, were found at the home on Daily Street and that two similar trucks were found at the home on Stone Street. Newman said that he and the others investigating the case believe that someone was using the trucks to transport the money and possibly drugs.
Investigators do not believe any drugs or money were ever distributed or transported through the house on Stone Street, but they now estimate that as much as $200,000.00 might have went through the house on Daily Street in a week’s time.
So far, no arrest has been made in connection with the case, but Newman said that the investigation was still underway.