NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Officers with the Nacogdoches Police Department arrested three people on felony money laundering charges Thursday after a traffic stop on Southwest Stallings Drive turned up a large amount of packaged U.S. currency and drug paraphernalia.
Quentasia D. Ballard, 23, of Lone Star, New Mexico, Aaron Renar Rose, 53, of Houston, and Keshea Anastasia Smith, of Humble, were all arrested and charged with third-degree felony money laundering between $30,000 and $150,000. No bail amounts have been set for the suspects yet.
According to the Nacogdoches Police Department's daily activity report, an NPD officer stopped a a 2017 GMC Denali for a traffic violation in the 3200 block of Southwest Stallings Drive at about 1:42 p.m.
"The occupants gave conflicting statements to travel plans and did not give believable statements if they knew each other," the report stated. "It was determined the subjects had traveled out of state in a short time frame."
At that point, the Nacogdoches PD officer suspected criminal activity was going on, the report stated. The occupants of the Denali denied the officer's request to search the vehicle.
A K-9 officer was brought in for a "free-air sniff," and the dog alerted on the vehicle. A search of the vehicle turned up a large amount of U.S. currency in the rear cargo area, drug paraphernalia and marijuana residue. According to the report the cash was packaged, which is typical for proceeds from criminal activity.
Ballard, Rose, and Smith all denied knowing anything about the cash, and they were taken to the county jail. The cash was seized, and the vehicle was impounded.