A 41-year-old man who was allegedly found with nearly $180,000 in cash during a traffic stop in Williamson County has been charged with money laundering, according to an affidavit.
Two officers were sitting along Interstate 35 on Feb. 12 when they noticed Eliazar Pineda's vehicle approach. The officers said they noticed that Pineda slumped down in his seat "in an unusual manner," which caused his vehicle to move slightly into the far left lane.
The officers conducted a traffic stop on Pineda's vehicle, and told him that he was only receiving a warning, but requested that he step back to his patrol vehicle for enforcement reasons.
While speaking with Pineda, the officers said they noticed that his carotid artery on his neck was beating rapidly and that his hands and arms were shaking. The officer said he became suspicious that he was involved in criminal activity. The officer asked for permission to search his truck, and Pineda allegedly said "go ahead, I don't have a problem." During the search, the officer noticed a non-factory compartment in the sub-woofer.
Pineda allegedly admitted to having $200,000 in cash and said he would show the officer how to get into the compartment. Police said Pineda opened the compartment where bundles of cash were found. When Pineda was taken to the Williamson County Sheriff's Office, he allegedly admitted that he was taking the cash from Oklahoma into Mexico.
Police said when they took the vehicle to the sheriff's office, nearly $180,000 was found.
"Due to the totality of the circumstances," police said they believe the cash was derived from illicit narcotic sales.
Pineda was placed under arrest for money laundering.