Deschenes v. State

In Deschenes v. State, 253 S.W.3d 374 (Tex. App.--Amarillo 2008, pet refused), during a consensual roadside search of the defendant's vehicle a trooper discovered over $17,000 cash in a bag in the vehicle's trunk. Id. at 377. A drug dog later alerted to the bag containing the money and an empty suitcase also in the trunk. Id. The defendant was convicted of money laundering. On appeal, the State argued its best single piece of evidence was the trooper's "expert" testimony that "a lot of the proceeds from the drugs that are shipped to the east come back westbound to either the originator who sent the drugs or someone that's going to purchase narcotics or weapons or whatever the contraband may be." Id. at 381. To establish a nexus between the money and criminal activity the State pointed to some twenty-two drug courier characteristics. Id. at 382-85. But this was insufficient to establish beyond a reasonable doubt a nexus between the money and criminal activity. Id. at 385.