A South Texas constable candidate was arrested on a money laundering charge Wednesday after authorities said they found more than $1 million in the trunk of his car during a traffic stop.
A Texas State trooper stopped Robert "Bobby" Maldonado, 46, of Mercedes in Victoria County, on Monday afternoon for speeding, Department of Public Safety spokesman Tom Vinger said.
Vinger said Maldonado initially refused to allow a search of his 2011 Chrysler 200, but a law enforcement dog alerted troopers to the trunk, where luggage with more than 100 bundles of cash was found. The cash total was $1,068,930.
Vinger said he could not release information regarding where Maldonado said he was going or any explanation he offered for the cash.
An arrest report indicated the money was wrapped in a manner consistent with drug trafficking, The McAllen Monitor reported.
A Victoria County judge set bond at $250,000 for Maldonado.
Maldonado, a former state trooper, was fired from the Texas Department of Public Safety in 1995, Vinger said. His campaign website, which appears to be a work in progress, notes that he served in Operation Desert Storm with the U.S. Marines and patrolled counties in West Texas with DPS.
Maldonado is making his second run at the constable position in Hidalgo County. Election records indicate he grabbed 30 percent of the vote in the 2008 Democratic primary before losing in a runoff.
Jail records didn't indicate whether he had retained an attorney.