WACO (August 14, 2014) A Waco man was sentenced Wednesday to federal prison after he earlier pleaded guilty to transporting large amounts of U.S. Currency for a Mexican drug cartel gang.
U.S. District Judge Walter S. Smith, Jr., son Wednesday sentenced Carlos Mercado to serve 5 years in federal prison, to be followed by 3 years on supervised release, ordered him to pay a $1,000 fine and special assessment to the court.
On the government’s motion, Smith dismissed related counts of possession with intent to distribute marijuana
Smith allowed Mercado to remain out on bond until he assigned to a Bureau of Prisons facility in the Laredo area.
Documents presented in court say Mercado was stopped in February 2010 near Lorena on Interstate 35 by a McLennan County Sheriff’s deputy.
Mercado was a passenger in a Ford pick up truck that was pulling a horse trailer.
During a consensual search of the vehicle and its occupants, deputies found more thn $18,000 in cash in Mercado’s jacket, another $1,000 in the front seat of the truck and more than $100,000 hidden in the horse trailer.
Evidence presented in court showed the money was destined for members of the Los Zetas drug cartel.