The Main Stream

May 2, 2012 1:20 PM

Conviction in money laundering case in Arizona

PHOENIX - A truck driver has been convicted on charges of illegally conducting an enterprise and money laundering, after being arrested last year with approximately $170,000 in cash in a duffel bag tainted with narcotics.

51 year-old Harold Stuart of Covington, Georgia was arrested by Department of Public Safety officers in August of 2011 during a traffic stop on I-17. Officers say Stuart was acting nervous and had irregularities in his log book. The money was wrapped in yellow tape and stuffed in a duffel bag.

Testing showed Stuart's fingerprints to be on the tape and bag and a DPS canine detected narcotics. Stuart told a DPS officer that he did not know how the bag got in his truck, and he refused to make additional statements to police about the money.

Police learned that between 2008 through 2009, Stuart reported income of only $14,379.00. A review of Stuart's financial records revealed there were large deposits of money into his Maryland bank account while he was in Jamaica. During trial, evidence was presented showing Stuart could not support his lifestyle nor could his income plausibly explain $170,000.00 in cash.

Both offenses are class 3 felonies with a sentencing range of 2 to 3.5 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for May 31st.

"Every dollar spent on illegal drugs represents an assault on our community," Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne said. "I applaud the DPS and the attorneys in this office for their continued hard work and vigilance to ensure that anyone transporting money that may have connection to the drug trade is brought to justice."

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