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Quick and Dirty

Not The Best-Laid Plans

Feds Bust Jose Morales Jr. in Texas With Bags of Cocaine

By Van Smith | Posted 8/27/2008

Serial criminal Jose Joaquin Morales Jr. ("With Impunity," Feature, June 11) was supposed to be in Howard County Circuit Court on Aug. 18, answering to charges that he wrote a bad check for nearly $4,000 in construction materials from a Jessup supply store last fall. Instead, Morales was facing much more serious charges in U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Texas, in McAllen, where he was accused of crimes associated with his alleged attempt to transport $180,000 worth of cocaine to Baltimore using a chartered jet.

According to the charging documents (pdf), in the middle of the afternoon on Aug. 15, Morales arrived by taxi at the Edinburg, Texas, airport next to the Rio Grande near Brownsville. He passed through the airport lobby on his way to the bathroom, then returned to the counter where he produced $23,000 cash to pay for a chartered jet to take him to Baltimore. The airport sent for a jet, and once it arrived, law enforcers approached Morales to ask him some questions. His "statements were not fitting the facts," the complaint explains, so the agents sought and received Morales' consent to search his bags. Drug-sniffing dogs got involved, too, and pretty soon six kilograms of cocaine were being recovered from the rest-room trash can.

"Morales stated he was provided currency to purchase Cocaine in the McAllen, Texas area," the complaint continues, and that "he was being paid to reimburse a $30,000 cash bond he owned [sic] to an individual for a prior arrest. He also stated he was planning to sell each kilogram of Cocaine in Baltimore, Maryland for $29-30,000 U.S. currency. Once the cocaine was sold, MORALES was to return the proceeds to another individual in Baltimore within one week."

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