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DA, BPD split proceeds of drug truck sale
by Gary Kent
Aug 02, 2013 | 1360 views | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BEEVILLE – District Attorney José Aliseda warned the owners of property that have eight-liner slot machines operating that they could lose that property.

The announcement came Tuesday morning as Police Chief Joe Treviño and Assistant Police Chief Richard Cantu met with Aliseda to hand over a check for $4,767.

The money was raised by the sale of an 18-wheeler rig earlier by an auction company in Fort Worth.

The chief said the truck was confiscated about a year ago after Sgt. Jason Alvarez stopped it in the 600 block of West Corpus Christi Street. The officer thought it was suspicious that the driver, 25-year-old George Cavazos of Weslaco, had failed to take the truck route around the city.

Alvarez noticed the driver was nervous when he made the stop, so he asked to see inside the trailer. When he stepped inside, Alvarez realized the refrigerator was not running to protect the load of produce. Then he noticed a panel had been built in the front of the trailer, blocking off the refrigerator unit.

Alvarez had the limes, tomatoes and cabbage moved out of the way and found a hidden compartment behind the panel.

Inside the compartment, the officer found 175 pounds of marijuana.

The Fort Worth-based auction company, Lone Star Auctioneer, recently sold the tractor-trailer rig for the Beeville Police Department. The BPD kept $8,000 from the sale, and $4,767 went to Aliseda’s office for taking care of the paperwork that was necessary for the confiscation and sale of the rig.

Treviño said Lone Star also is auctioning off 72 eight-liner machines confiscated some time back when the department raided a gambling operation on South Washington Street.

Aliseda said he intends to expand the scope of the confiscation of property from criminals to include real estate. The prosecutor said the confiscation of real estate began in a neighboring county and it proved successful.

Treviño said most of the operators of eight-liner businesses in Beeville do not live here, but they rent property from local owners. He said confiscating the property of those who rent to the operators will discourage anyone from renting to them in the future.

“I have no doubt that illegal gambling is going on in these places,” Aliseda said.

The chief said he has warned the property owners who are renting the facilities that they could lose their real estate.

Treviño said the Fort Worth auction company makes sure that only businesses that are licensed to operate gambling facilities are able to buy the machines. That would include businesses in places like Nevada, Louisiana and certain Indian-owned operations.

The auctioneer guarantees that the machines will not end up back in a Texas eight-liner business that is engaged in illegal gambling.

The chief said the machines can sell from $500 to $1,500 each, depending on their type and condition.

Treviño is not sure how much money the BPD will make from the sale of the machines, but if they sell for only $500 each, 72 machines would bring in $36,000.

The chief and the prosecutor both said it is not the money that local agencies can make off the confiscated property that is driving their efforts.

The idea is to put illegal gambling and drug smuggling operations out of business.

And nothing affects criminal enterprises like losing their investments.
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