Texas drug gangster's loot to go under hammer
Convicted drug dealer's belongings will be auctioned with 700 other illegal items seized by the FBI, this Saturday
Atreasure chest of gold and diamond encrusted items once belonging to a Texas borderland drug gangster will go under the hammer this Saturday.
The loot is to be auctioned after being seized by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents from Jose Luis Arce Jr.'s large Galveston County home in Houston, Texas.
Arce Jr., known as 'Double Zero', is currently serving time in federal prison.
Rings and necklaces handcrafted with the 28-year-old's "00" call sign and images of Mexico's saint of death will be available to the highest bidder.
Arce Jr.'s most prized item is a gold necklace with 69 diamonds and nine Santa Muertes fastened to a hefty chain with his "00" symbol.
His other assets includehomes, cars and bank accounts.
At least 700 items seized from Arce Jr. and other criminals will be displayed Saturday under security and behind glass at Austin's Hilton Convention Center hotel.
The auction is the latest example of a 25-year program by the FBI to seize and redistribute criminal's ill-gotten assets that, in the past five years, has raised nearly $4 billion.
A 52-foot yacht worth about $750,000 was recently seized in the Houston area, as have been planes, homes, sports cars and race horses.
The seized money is put in a general fund and distributed through a budgetary process. It can go for everything from police cars to repaying victims.
"Seizing and confiscating criminal assets is the single most effective way of disrupting criminal organizations and shutting them down," said Charles Intriago, a former federal prosecutor told local paper the Houston and Texas News.
"It's about time we made the odds of them hanging on to their ill-gotten gains a lot worse," he said.
Arce Jr., an American citizen who was arrested in 2005 and later pleaded guilty to money-laundering charges. He is from Laredo, but was part of a drug-trafficking organization that did business in Houston and Dallas.The auction will be simulcast online at proxibid.com.