EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – An El Paso grand jury has indicted a man federal officials describe as a major drug courier with ties to several U.S. cities.
Wednesday’s indictment charges Armand Muñoz with one count of conspiracy to possess a controlled substance with intent to distribute and one count of possession with intent to distribute. The charges stem from the transportation of multi-kilogram amounts of cocaine to Dallas, Atlanta, Charlotte, North Carolina, and St. Louis, Missouri, according to a federal complaint.
Muñoz first appeared on the radar of the El Paso Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) in February in connection with alleged drug trafficking activities, court records show. El Paso police officers arrested him after a traffic stop on July 8 as he allegedly drove back from Charlotte with $15,806.75 in cash.
A July 20 court-authorized search of Muñoz’s cellphone allegedly revealed communications from a co-conspirator giving him instructions to pick up illegal drugs; Muñoz in turn allegedly later would send photographs of the drugs to the other party, according to court records.
On Sept. 27, task force agents interviewed a cooperating witness who alleged Muñoz tried to recruit him to transport multi-kilogram amounts of illicit drugs from El Paso to the interior of the United States for $2,000 a trip, documents filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas show.
A second cooperating witness allegedly told the agents the cash found inside Muñoz’s gray GMC Yukon in July was payment for an illegal drug delivery in Charlotte, federal officials allege in the documents.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert F. Castañeda has ordered Muñoz held without bond at the El Paso County Jail. Federal officials also are seeking forfeiture of the cash and property either purchased with illicit proceeds or used in the transportation of illegal drugs.