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      Charges filed against mother who strapped drug money to children

      Federal charges were filed against a woman arrested in Combes for allegedly using two young children and a teenager to conceal drug money.

      Betzabeth Perez-Torres was traveling with the kids in a 2000 Mercedes Benz on U.S. Expressway 77 when a Combes police officer pulled her over.

      The officer noticed the two young children fidgeting in the backseat of the car and Torres telling the kids to keep their jackets on.

      The officer discovered that she had strapped large amounts of cash in plastic bags around all three of the girls waists.

      The 2-year-old and the 6-year-old were reported to be her daughters and the 15-year-old, her sister.

      The bundles of $100s, $50s and 20s were confiscated and Torres was placed under arrest.

      Perez-Torres told investigators that she was driving from Dallas to Brownsville to smuggle the money, from narcotic exchanges, into Mexico.

      She also admitted to have smuggled drugs to various parts of Texas before and confessed to authorities who she had been planning to meet at the border in the smuggling attempt.

      Her confession led officers to the Gateway International Bridge where they arrested Danielle Marie Levi, who had Methamphetamines on her person.

      At the time of the arrest, Perez-Torres and the teenage sister were turned over to Homeland Security and the two young girls were given to an undisclosed family member.

      Perez-Torres remains in federal custody until trial. Her preliminary hearing has been set for Wednesday.