A 44-year-old male suspect was arrested in Galveston two weeks ago after missing his court date for a 2017 money laundering charge.
A Texas State Trooper previously pulled over Howard Wayne Simmons in April 2017 for speeding in a 2016 Toyota Camry on U.S. Highway 287 in Ellis County. According to the court affidavit, the trooper searched Simmons' vehicle after he was given verbal consent by Simmons to do so.
Upon further investigation, seven vacuum-sealed packages of rubber-banded, wrapped cash bundles were concealed in the spare tire area, totaling to approximately $20,719.
Simmons gave several different accounts as to why the money was in his possession, according to the affidavit, but ultimately claimed it belonged to someone else. Simmons was transported to the Department of Public Safety office but refused to cooperate with criminal investigations. A DPS canine was called to the vehicle to inspect and alerted troopers to the odor of narcotics inside the vehicle, where the money was taken from.
Simmons was booked in the Wayne McCollum Detention Center in Waxahachie and was charged with money laundering greater than $2,500 but fewer than $30,000. Assistant County and District Attorney Ann Montgomery stated that Simmons had a court date set in August last year, but he did not appear.
“He failed to come to court, so there was a warrant issued,” Montgomery stated. “It is a pending criminal case.”
Simmons’ warrant was not served until April 10 of this year, when he was arrested and detained in the Galveston County Jail. Galveston Police Department Sgt. Xavier Hancock stated he was pulled over for a traffic violation.
“We ran his driver’s license and checked for outstanding warrants throughout the nation," Hancock stated. "He was found to have an outstanding warrant from Ellis County.”
Simmons was booked into the Wayne McCollum Detention Center 6:59 p.m. on April 17, where he is currently being detained. His bond is currently not set.