An uncle and his nephew have agreed to plead guilty to federal drug trafficking charges based upon allegations by the Drug Enforcement Administration that their Plant City business was a front for a Mexican drug distribution operation.
According to authorities, Saul Velasquez-Bazan, 49, ran the distribution business while his nephew, 20-year-old Alexandro Velasquez was its accountant. They say the commerce being conducted at the pallet business on Turkey Creek road was covering for a drug operation that brought in over $2 million over four months this summer.
Police began investigating the business almost a year ago, but say that they got their first real break in the case in April when two Hillsborough County Sheriff’s deputies acting undercover say they discussed purchasing cocaine with Velasquez-Bazan and another man named Aaron Garcia.
Detectives allege that they purchased large sums of the drug from Garcia over the course of several weeks. Garcia then recruited an undercover Homeland Security agent to ferry cash to Matamoros and return through Houston to pick up narcotics, they say.
In the interim, detectives say that they witnessed Velasquez purchase $400,000 in narcotics. The seller was subsequently apprehended with the money which, they say, was destined for Mexico. They say they witnessed another such purchase, this one for $70,000.
Velasquez and Velasquez-Bazan were arrested in August. The arresting officers indicate that they found $81,000 in cash within a vehicle allegedly driven by the duo. Both are in jail and are being held without bail.