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Somebody-left-it-on-my-doorstep answer doesn't work very well
San Antonio Express-News ^ | 03/09/2005 | Ken Rodriguez

Posted on 03/10/2005 2:13:48 PM PST by SwinneySwitch

If Hector David Herrera Martinez had been a better driver, he might not be facing a charge of smuggling bulk currency.

If he hadn't been traveling in a passing lane without passing any cars, if he hadn't abruptly slowed to 40 mph in a 65-mph zone, if he hadn't suddenly pulled off the road, I'm sure nobody would have noticed that stashed in his 1987 Lincoln Town Car was $283,473.

Unfortunately for Martinez, a Kimble County sheriff's deputy took notice and stopped him near Junction.

And that's when Martinez had to explain where he got the money.

Somebody, he told the officer, left it on his doorstep.

I don't know if that somebody was the tooth fairy who couldn't find Martinez's pillow.

I don't know if that somebody was Santa Claus who couldn't find the chimney.

I don't know if that somebody was the Easter Bunny who couldn't find any tall grass.

All I know is that somebody left something on the front porch around Valentine's Day, and it wasn't chocolate.

Last week, a federal grand jury in San Antonio indicted Martinez, and I really feel for the guy.

The last time somebody left a quarter of a million dollars on my doorstep, I made it all the way to the bank without getting thrown in jail. Most people do.

For some reason, though, Martinez found it difficult to calmly transport the gross national product of Bangladesh across Texas. According to the arrest report, he shook. He trembled. Now he's in the clink when he could be living large in a Third World country.

Poor guy. If only he had a little more cool. If only he didn't have so much company.

People who drive oddly draw police attention all the time. Some get stopped for making an improper turn and get busted for possession of cocaine. Others get pulled over for failing to yield, and get charged with carrying stolen goods.

Recently, officers stopped a 36-year-old man they saw going the wrong way on an I-37 access road.

Inside the 2005 Cadillac Escalade of Raul Hernandez, police found DVDs, video games and dozens of wallets and purses. Later, police found computers, printers, scanners, more DVDs and more than $69,000 at Hernandez's home. He told police he made the money by selling illegally reproduced movies.

It should be noted that police had been watching Hernandez. But they didn't pull him over until he began driving like he was nuts.

Tip to readers: If you're driving with suspicious or illegal goods, don't go the wrong way on a one-way street.

That brings me back to Martinez. He wasn't as reckless on the road as Hernandez. But Martinez did make some mistakes.

Here are some lessons to be gleaned from his arrest.

One: If you are in a passing lane with $283,473 in your car, make sure you pass another car.

Two: If an officer pulls you over and asks if he can search your vehicle, do not say "yes" when you've got more money in your trunk than your boss has in the bank.

Three: If a sheriff's deputy asks what's inside your big suitcase, do not say "presents" when there's a safe filled with $100 bills.

Four: If you are asked where you got the cash, do not say "on my doorstep" then change your mind and say "it belongs to my brother" and later sign a statement declaring that you're sticking with your first story.

That raises suspicions.

Five: If asked where you are headed, do not say "El Paso" when you're nowhere near the road that leads there.

Six: If asked where you are from, do not say "Bartlesville, Oklahoma," when you are an undocumented immigrant from Mexico.

Seven: The next time someone leaves 200 grand on your front porch, head for the bank and drive carefully. And if a car with flashing lights pulls you over, come up with a good story.

I-just-won-the-lottery is better than somebody-left-this-on-my-doorstep. It might even keep you out of jail.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- To contact Ken Rodriguez, call (210) 250-3369 or e-mail krodriguez@express-news.net. His column appears on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; Mexico; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: 4a; 4thamendment; alien; aliens; assetforfeiture; donutwatch; fourthamendment; illegalimmigrant; leo; wodlist
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Last week's report on Martinez.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1356224/posts?page=1,20

1 posted on 03/10/2005 2:13:49 PM PST by SwinneySwitch
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Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

To: mhking; aculeus; general_re; BlueLancer; Poohbah; hellinahandcart; Constitution Day; ...

Criminal Genius alert.


3 posted on 03/10/2005 2:22:46 PM PST by dighton
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To: SwinneySwitch
"someone leaves 200 grand on your front porch, head for the bank"

Apparently the drug dealers know more about banking laws than this reporter.

4 posted on 03/10/2005 2:24:25 PM PST by Deguello
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To: SwinneySwitch

And he is guilty of what crime? Having more money in his car than he is supposed to? What is the cutoff for having too much money on you at any given time?


5 posted on 03/10/2005 2:25:51 PM PST by Rodney King (No, we can't all just get along.)
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To: SwinneySwitch

On what basis was his vehicle searched and did they get as warrant?

Or doesn't anyone care about the Constitution?


6 posted on 03/10/2005 2:26:29 PM PST by Wil H
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To: Rodney King

If I were the police, I'd say 1-5,000 starts getting into the suspicious activity range. Unless you're Jack Whitaker ($300m powerball winner from WV).


7 posted on 03/10/2005 2:28:36 PM PST by timtoews5292004
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To: Roses0508; norton; tom paine 2; Righty_McRight; HiJinx; Brian Allen; B4Ranch; deepFR; davetex; ...

Somebody-left-it-on-my-doorstep #2 ping!

Please let me know if you want on or off this South Texas/Mexico ping list.


8 posted on 03/10/2005 2:28:52 PM PST by SwinneySwitch (Texas, bless God!)
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To: Wil H
Two: If an officer pulls you over and asks if he can search your vehicle, do not say "yes" when you've got more money in your trunk than your boss has in the bank.

They asked. He did not have to say yes.

9 posted on 03/10/2005 2:29:22 PM PST by Harmless Teddy Bear (Res severa est verum gaudium)
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To: Rodney King

Sweating.


10 posted on 03/10/2005 2:30:11 PM PST by SwinneySwitch (Texas, bless God!)
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To: Wil H

Two: If an officer pulls you over and asks if he can search your vehicle, do not say "yes" when you've got more money in your trunk than your boss has in the bank.


11 posted on 03/10/2005 2:33:05 PM PST by SwinneySwitch (Texas, bless God!)
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To: timtoews5292004

Well sure its suspicious, but does that make it a crime?


12 posted on 03/10/2005 2:38:38 PM PST by Rodney King (No, we can't all just get along.)
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To: antoninartaud

There's a lot of sound advice in that article.


13 posted on 03/10/2005 2:39:58 PM PST by sine_nomine (Protect the weakest of the weak - the unborn babies.)
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To: timtoews5292004
I'd say 1-5,000 starts getting into the suspicious activity

Why, I transfered 8K in cash from one of my bank accounts to the other a few months back so I could save the service charges for the cashiers checks.

14 posted on 03/10/2005 2:46:05 PM PST by SwankyC (1st Bn 11th Marines Semper Fi)
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To: Rodney King
Six 1/2: Have a valid Oklahoma drivers license with a Bartlesville address.

So many things to remember!
15 posted on 03/10/2005 2:52:51 PM PST by SwinneySwitch (Texas, bless God!)
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To: SwankyC

Just don't do it too often, or the money-laundering taskforce will be on your doorstep, instead of a quarter-million dollars!


16 posted on 03/10/2005 2:54:03 PM PST by expatpat
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To: Rodney King

"And he is guilty of what crime?"

Not necessarily....but probable cause/suspicion.


17 posted on 03/10/2005 2:54:49 PM PST by Smartaleck
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To: Wil H; Rodney King; Harmless Teddy Bear; SwinneySwitch
"On what basis was his vehicle searched and did they get as warrant?

Or doesn't anyone care about the Constitution?"

Before you guys get your panties in constitutional wad, read the stories a little better - the guy was an "undocumented immigrant".

As such, he should have no rights anyhow. Now we get to feed and house him.

18 posted on 03/10/2005 2:56:22 PM PST by Slump Tester (John Kerry - When even your best still isn't good enough)
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To: Harmless Teddy Bear

"They asked. He did not have to say yes."

Reading comprehension, it's good thing! LOL


19 posted on 03/10/2005 2:57:06 PM PST by Smartaleck
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To: SwinneySwitch

If an individual accountholder were to deposit two hundred plus thousand into their private checking account in one go, I guarantee you that his account would be flagged and the Feds would be notified ASAP.

A better idea would be to convert the cash to collectible gold coins, sew them into your clothes, drive to Mexico or hire a boat to Brazil, and then slowly sell the coins off to collectors or dealers on an as-needed, cash-only, face-to-face basis. Even so, you're probably going to attract attention. It's hard to make two hundred thousand dollars dissappear.

Another option: Hire two hundred illegal immigrants to each send a $1000 giro (money order) to their relatives in Mexico. Go to Mexico and have the relatives cash the money orders in. Pay the families 5% ($200 each) for their trouble. Total cost $40,000, but you'd be damned near untraceable.

Another option: Hide the cash in your attic and spend it a little at a time. As long as your lifestyle stays the same and you make no deposits no one will notice anything funny. Downside: if you suddenly buy that sixty-foot cabin crusier, the gig is up.

Another option: Buy a gun, go to the Mexican border and cross illegally. Once in Mexico, dump the gun, then use the cash to purchase Mexican identity papers plus as many politicians, cops and judges as you need to keep inquistive types from snooping around. Mexico is full of generous foreigners with a penchant for privacy. Extra credit: establish a legitimate business in Mexico and use it to whitewash your cash. Put Mexico's traditional corruption to work for you!

There just aren't very many legal ways to obtain $200,000 in cash in the United States. We use checks and transfers to handle legit money in such amounts. If you dump over five grand in cash into a bank account in the U.S. you might as well stamp DRUG MONEY on every bill before you hand it to the teller. Carry big cash in the U.S. and you ARE going to be checked up on. That's a guarantee.


20 posted on 03/10/2005 2:57:27 PM PST by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
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To: expatpat

Well, I cant say I have 250K to transfer around but I need to move cash sometimes to cover shortfalls in expected deposits.


21 posted on 03/10/2005 2:57:34 PM PST by SwankyC (1st Bn 11th Marines Semper Fi)
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To: SwankyC

Seriously, 8K is about where they get most suspicious these days.


22 posted on 03/10/2005 3:08:08 PM PST by expatpat
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To: SwankyC
What he was writing about was "Structuring". This is sums of money in amounts of less than $10K.
23 posted on 03/10/2005 3:08:34 PM PST by Deguello
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To: Wil H
Sometimes they just fabricate probable cause.
24 posted on 03/10/2005 3:13:35 PM PST by Flyer (That flight attendant is not missing playing below the bridge at this exact moment)
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To: B-Chan
It is easy to take care of $250K. I could do it in a weekend. Just give me $250K and I will show you... :-)

Seriously though it is not difficult to move that kind of cash around. I know someone that sold some laser equipment to some guys in Greece and shipped it over there, then went over to Greece and they gave him $60K USD in cash. He put it in a briefcase and flew back to the USA.

25 posted on 03/10/2005 3:17:41 PM PST by ikka
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To: SwinneySwitch; Happy2BMe; devolve; yall
Six: If asked where you are from, do not say "Bartlesville,
Oklahoma," when you are an undocumented immigrant
from Mexico.

bump!


26 posted on 03/10/2005 3:19:18 PM PST by MeekOneGOP (There is only one GOOD 'RAT: one that has been voted OUT of POWER !! Straight ticket GOP!)
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To: Deguello
Apparently the drug dealers know more about banking laws than this reporter.

Yeah, I bet any significant cash deposit results in red flags being sent to a half-dozen federal agencies. They ask for your drivers licence then fill out forms and ask you questions like what business you are in.

27 posted on 03/10/2005 3:27:50 PM PST by Always Right
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To: ikka
Seriously though it is not difficult to move that kind of cash around. I know someone that sold some laser equipment to some guys in Greece and shipped it over there, then went over to Greece and they gave him $60K USD in cash. He put it in a briefcase and flew back to the USA.

Yeah, but you better declare it. If you fail to declare it and they discover it, you could find your money is no longer yours. It is much better to have the money wired to your account.

28 posted on 03/10/2005 3:30:37 PM PST by Always Right
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To: Rodney King
And he is guilty of what crime?

The charge is bulk cash smuggling. It's a new crime; comes from the money laundering section of the patriot act.

29 posted on 03/10/2005 3:47:42 PM PST by Sandy
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To: timtoews5292004
If I were the police, I'd say 1-5,000 starts getting into the suspicious activity range

Start a business where no one will give you terms and you have to pay COD on everything. Then score a contract with a university who orders $50,000-$75,000 a month. When you're a struggling new business, no one will give you terms.

I can't count the number of times the UPS guy had to call someone to get the cash. The biggest single truck load of CODs was $34,000. The Driver, who I knew pretty well, was shaking. It was approximately his take-home for the year. He never left the lot until the boss and two others showed up. After a while, 10,000-15,000 became routine once or twice a week. Interest expense eventually made the whole thing not worthwhile but it was interesting for a while. Your customers will only accept net-30 and your suppliers want COD, eating a month of interest on 10s of thousands sucks.

30 posted on 03/10/2005 4:35:04 PM PST by Malsua
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To: Sandy

thanks


31 posted on 03/10/2005 4:38:12 PM PST by Rodney King (No, we can't all just get along.)
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To: Wil H

The article says they were "watching him anyway" but didn't pull him over until he started driving the wrong way on the road.

He then CONSENTED to the search.

Didn't they teach you reading comphrension in school or do you just prefer that we read the articles for you?


32 posted on 03/10/2005 9:09:21 PM PST by texasflower ("America's vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one." President George W. Bush 01/20/05)
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To: B-Chan
"Hide the cash in your attic and spend it a little at a time. As long as your lifestyle stays the same and you make no deposits no one will notice anything funny."

Or buy collectables like LLadro figurines and coins, parcelled out over a long time period. Let your paycheck go where it goes and invest and live on cash. Convert $100 bills at the Vegas crap tables. One at a time, without winning too big.

33 posted on 03/10/2005 9:28:07 PM PST by BobS
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To: BobS

Sounds reasonable. Although I think the "Mexican" option sounds more fun...


34 posted on 03/10/2005 9:33:08 PM PST by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
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To: SwinneySwitch

It always amazes me when the idiot libertarians that are the liberals and terrorists closest allies read a story like this and wonder not what criminal activity this clown was engaged in to have this sum of money, but how the poor illegal alien who does not belong here in the first place may have had rights violated that he should not have for entering this country ILLEGALLY.


35 posted on 03/10/2005 10:02:54 PM PST by deepFR
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To: B-Chan

The "Mexican Option" sounds reasonable. Store $50K and find a broker that will put the rest in S&P Futures with a 10% comission. Save the slip. Come back when it's up. Xfer into a money market account and get checks drawn on it. Deplete that account while your reg paycheck gets invested. The women you meet will love the Lladro figurines you invested in along with your housing and bedroom skills:) Keep your secret money in a bank's lock-box. For spending later.


36 posted on 03/10/2005 10:35:01 PM PST by BobS
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To: SwinneySwitch
Im sorry, but theis entire story made no sense at all.

Is it a crime to have money?

37 posted on 03/10/2005 10:40:27 PM PST by expatguy (http://laotze.blogspot.com/)
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To: B-Chan

Are you an Asian dude? I'm thinking like one, I assume. Just to be on the same approach to arrange money.


38 posted on 03/10/2005 10:45:28 PM PST by BobS
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To: BobS

I'm Texan, of German-Scottish ancestry. Sorry!


39 posted on 03/10/2005 10:46:34 PM PST by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
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To: expatguy
"Is it a crime to have money?"

It is a crime to not understand money when it falls in your lap unexpectedly.

40 posted on 03/10/2005 10:50:17 PM PST by BobS
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To: B-Chan

I'm a German-Polock-Ukie. Let's keep the original premise going, if possible.


41 posted on 03/10/2005 10:52:43 PM PST by BobS
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To: BobS

"It is a crime to not understand money when it falls in your lap unexpectedly."

It should be a crime to not understand the concept. I once opened my mailbox to find a letter from a friend that was away visiting in Washington state. I opened the envelope to find two bearer bonds worth $80,000.00 each and a sweet note asking if I would take them to her bank.


42 posted on 03/10/2005 10:58:18 PM PST by whereasandsoforth
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To: B-Chan

As an added incentive, I want to retire on the Isle of Skye- as it seems so much like Kansas. And a ferry-ride and train trip will get me to Edinborough. The people there are like me. Scotch folks are what I want as neighbors.


43 posted on 03/10/2005 11:04:00 PM PST by BobS
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To: Wil H

Please forgive me for that last line. There was no reason for me to be so nasty about it.


44 posted on 03/10/2005 11:14:36 PM PST by texasflower ("America's vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one." President George W. Bush 01/20/05)
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To: whereasandsoforth
"I opened the envelope to find two bearer bonds worth $80,000.00 each and a sweet note asking if I would take them to her bank."

You did, didn't you? Charge her a commission of 5% for the successful completion- to be negotiated by trade of services or property. That's what Fat, Old Ben Franklin did years ago between countries.

45 posted on 03/10/2005 11:15:48 PM PST by BobS
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To: Wil H

I think this guy was just talking too much.

He should have kept quiet. Even drug dogs would have come up zero.

Contrary to popular opinion, being an *ssh*l* is suspicious. If nothing else it will earn you a police officer who will do all the i dotting and t crossing to make it very very annoying withing due process as they understand (or think they understand) it.

Look at Martha Stuart, a perfect example of the rewards of being an *ssh*l*.


46 posted on 03/10/2005 11:22:11 PM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE!)
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To: texasflower
"Didn't they teach you reading comphrension in school or do you just prefer that we read the articles for you?"

Texasflower, I am sure you can teach young skulls full of mush with accuracy. Just make them show respect while you are speaking. Let them contest ideas when allowed by you.

47 posted on 03/10/2005 11:28:58 PM PST by BobS
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To: Rodney King

I have a friend who works at a bank. According to him, any transaction over $600.00 dollars gets flagged.


48 posted on 03/10/2005 11:39:03 PM PST by Paulus
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To: whereasandsoforth
"It should be a crime to not understand the concept. I once opened my mailbox to find a letter from a friend that was away visiting in Washington state. I opened the envelope to find two bearer bonds worth $80,000.00 each and a sweet note asking if I would take them to her bank."

On second thought, Put one bond in her bank for a deposit to her account. Create another account with the second under a seperate account for you as insurance under different numbers for "safekeeping". If you decide she had honorable intentions, it's all hers (with your fee). If un-honorable intentions were present, leave the $80K securitiees there for your picking a few weeks or months later.

49 posted on 03/10/2005 11:52:48 PM PST by BobS
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To: BobS

I guess you didn't see my post at

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1360326/posts?page=44#44

I was mistaken in my tone and I apologized to him for that. That was about 15 minutes before you posted to me.

I'm sure you have seen it by now.


50 posted on 03/11/2005 12:18:40 AM PST by texasflower ("America's vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one." President George W. Bush 01/20/05)
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