Gerardo Ortiz’ tour manager arrested with $100,000 of ‘cocaine money’

Mexican-American singer Gerardo Ortiz’s tour manager Joel Camarena has been arrested with $100,000 (£71,000) prosecutors allege is linked to a cocaine operation.
Camarena was apprehended at Dallas Love Field airport in Texas last week (end28Jan18), after Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents found the cash in a silver backpack on his person, according to The Dallas Morning News.
TSA officials also found $50,000 (£35,500) on Armando Banuelos, another employee of Ortiz’ label DEL Records who manages rising Mexican star Regulo Caro. Banuelos has been released, but Camarena was detained and faces charges of conspiracy to evade federal reporting requirements.
Editors at the Dallas newspaper report that prosecutors claim the money is tied to a cocaine operation run out of nightclubs in north Texas.
In a statement to, Ortiz said he was “aware of the reports about the detention of Joel Camarena. While the authorities make the corresponding inquiries, I limit myself to commenting that my job is to sing and entertain my audience. I let the authorities do their job.”
Camarena, who appeared in court on Tuesday to answer to the charge, initially told police that the money he and Banuelos had on him was payment for several of Ortiz’s Texas shows.
However, according to authorities, he failed to account for more than $115,000 (£81,150) of the money on federal reporting forms. An affidavit states Camarena subsequently claimed a man identified as nightclub manager Martin Salvador Rodriguez, also known as “Chava”, gave him the cash.
Rodriguez, who worked as a manager for a Texas nightclub mogul named Alfredo Navarro Hinojosa was indicted last December on a charge of managing a drug premises.
U.S. federal authorities allege Hinojosa and his managers allowed drug dealers to sell cocaine in his clubs’ washrooms. He has already pleaded guilty to conspiracy to manage a drug premises and conspiracy to launder money.