A federal grand jury indicted an Ambos Nogales man on two charges on Wednesday, nearly a month after he was arrested for allegedly trying to smuggle a little more than $475,000 in cash into Mexico.
Juan German Martinez Dabdoub, 64, faces one count of bulk cash smuggling and one count of evading currency reporting requirements.
According to a complaint filed Oct. 28, Martinez was driving a Chrevolet Equinox through the Mariposa Port of Entry on the morning of Oct. 26 when U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers stopped him for questioning.
Martinez told CBP officials that he was coming from his home in Nogales, Ariz. and heading to his business in Nogales, Sonora. After being questioned, Martinez allegedly said that he was the owner of the vehicle and was traveling to Mexico with only $1 on him.
CBP agents then referred Martinez for a secondary inspection of his vehicle, upon which they discovered cellophane packages with U.S. currency hidden in the front center console of the car. An X-ray of the vehicle later showed anomalies underneath the dashboard area and in the rear quarter panels.
After searching the car for more than an hour, the complaint states, CBP officers retrieved a total of 37 packages containing U.S. currency with a total value of $475,030.
Court documents show that Martinez was released on Oct. 28 on a $50,000 bond, with the provision that he not travel out of Arizona. He surrendered his Mexican passport on Oct. 30.
Sonoran news outlet El Diario de Sonora reported that Martinez is brother of former Nogales, Sonora Mayor Marco Antonio Martinez Dabdoub, a member of the conservative PAN party who served from 2006-2009,
Martinez’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.
Martinez is scheduled to be arraigned on Dec. 6 at U.S. District Court in Tucson.