Edinburg man pleads guilty in cash smuggling case 

As part of a plea deal with government prosecutors, an Edinburg man will forfeit more than half a million dollars, records show.

Sergio Guadalupe Sauceda-Saenz pleaded guilty to bulk cash smuggling Dec. 21 in connection with his April arrest at a port of entry.

On April 4, 2020, the 36-year old legally permanent resident attempted to leave the U.S. through the Hidalgo port of entry in his vehicle.

Port officers subsequently conducted an inspection of Sauceda’s vehicle which led to the discovery of $571,497 in bulk U.S. currency in the spare tire, a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Texas stated.

At the December hearing, Sauceda admitted to evading currency reporting requirements by knowingly concealing more than $10,000, the release stated.

Sauceda-Saenz acknowledged knowing he was concealing the money and that it was illegal to transport the currency from the U.S. to Mexico unreported. As part of the plea agreement, he has agreed to forfeit his interest in the seized cash.

U.S. District Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa accepted the plea and set sentencing for Feb. 10, 2021.

Sauceda-Saenz faces up to five years in federal prison along with a possible $250,000 maximum fine and could also lose his status as a permanent resident.

Sauceda-Saenz will remain in custody pending sentencing.