REFUGIO – Sheriff Pinky Gonzales said he thinks tons of illegal money is being transported  across South Texas.

Gonzales busted a suspect June 7 and recovered $131,900, and then on June 13, two more suspects were stopped and $19,400 was recovered.

This past week, Mexican authorities stopped a couple at the border coming from Houston, carrying more than a million dollars.

But Gonzales said because his deputies are acutely aware of trafficking, the word is out among traffickers not to go through Refugio County.

“They are taking alternate routes,” Gonzales said.

The June 13 bust resulted in the two arrested and the suspects being charged with money laundering.

Ricky Sosa, 18, and Aaron Soliz, 23, both from Rio Grande City, were traveling from Houston when they were stopped at 11:22 a.m. south of Lambert Road about six miles north of Refugio on U.S. Highway 77.

They were driving a 2005 Mustang with a fictitious license plate tag.

Upon a search, deputies “started finding cash, in the trunk, console, everywhere,” Gonzales said.

After counting, the amount of money was $19,400.

Tim Delaney is the Refugio editor at the  Advance-Guard Press and can be reached at 361-526-2397, or at refugio@mySouTex.com.