A large-scale bust of 15 suspected members of a nationwide drug smuggling operation may result in 11 Houston real estate parcels going on the market if their forfeiture is approved.
In addition to the 11 pieces of real estate, authorities are looking to seize $40 million and several cars. The 15 people were charged with money laundering and conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana.
The U.S. Attorney for Texas' Eastern District, John Bales, told television news station KYTX that the group operated on a national level.
"These folks are charged with conspiring to distribute large quantities of cocaine and marijuana throughout the U.S.," he said. The Department of Justice also told the news source that the group had been operating in partnership with Mexico's Gulf Cartel since 1995.
KYTX also reported that 80 kilograms of cocaine and 663 pounds of marijuana were seized.
The real estate owned by those accused in the case could go up for auction by the government, according to experts, if prosecutors secure convictions for the defendants.