McAllen businessman granted bond in gold coins case 

Jury selection set for December

A McAllen businessman was granted a bond and is set for trial later this year in connection with a money laundering charge, court notes show.

On Oct. 16, Jose Luis Trejo appeared for a bond and detention hearing related to his October arrest after federal authorities found more than $700,000 in gold coins and U.S. cash as he attempted to travel into Mexico.

According to the indictment against Jose Luis Trejo, in February of this year, Trejo “conducted or attempted to conduct a financial transaction affecting interstate or foreign commerce involving property represented by (Trejo) to be proceeds and property used to conduct or facilitate specified unlawful activity,” the record shows.

Trejo allegedly attempted to bribe a public official in order to smuggle unidentified goods from the U.S. to carry on with concealing the nature, location, source and ownership of property believed to be proceeds from unlawful activity, the indictment against Trejo states.

In addition to the allegations, Trejo is also accused of attempting to avoid transaction reporting requirements.

The government looks to seize roughly $347,356 in gold coins seized on Feb. 14, another $400,000 in U.S. currency, and 5.03 acres of land at a property in McAllen, records show.

Trejo, who was indicted Oct. 7 on the aforementioned charges, made his initial appearance before a magistrate judge shortly after, records show.

According to state records, the 49-year-old Trejo owns several businesses in McAllen, including a durable medical equipment business, a produce company, and a media company, to name a few — all listed to an address in the 100 block of Broadway Street.

During the detention hearing, Trejo pleaded not guilty to one count of money laundering, records show.

The government announced they did not oppose his release on bond but asked for the appropriate bond restrictions that would limit, among other activities, the ability for Trejo to travel into Mexico, the court noted during the Oct. 16 hearing.

As part of his bond, Trejo will be allowed to travel to San Antonio to meet with his attorneys but be relegated to home confinement for the duration of his release.

Trejo will also be required to “refrain from possessing firearms/dangerous weapons; refrain from excessive use of alcohol; mental health evaluation/treatment; refrain from unlawful possession/use of narcotic drug or controlled substances; random drug/alcohol testing as directed by Pretrial (services),” the court noted.

The court ultimately granted Trejo a $300,000 bond, with a $15,000 cash deposit, and set bond restrictions. Trejo’s wife and sister put up the bond, the record shows.

The court also set a Dec. 8 date for the federal jury to be selected in the pending case.

If convicted of the charge, Trejo faces up to 10 years in federal prison.