According to court documents, on February 19 the victim was in his apartment in the 10900 block of Gulf Freeway in southeast Houston when he heard the his glass sliding door break. The victim says a Hispanic suspect entered his living room, punched him in the face, threw him to the ground and put a pillow over his head. The suspect then told him not to move or he would shoot him.
The victim's brother heard the commotion and came out of a bedroom to see his brother on the floor and two male Hispanic suspects in the living room. One of the suspects then slashed him with a knife and pushed him to the ground. The brothers say one of the suspects retrieved a black bag from the bedroom with more than $400,000 in cash. The suspects tied up the brothers and left the apartment with the bag.
Court documents state that two days later, an Alabama state trooper made a traffic stop of a Ford Expedition on a highway. The trooper identified the driver as Ricardo Velez and the passenger as Jose Rafael Marcano-Vazquez. The men told the trooper they were traveling back to New Jersey from Texas City, but the trooper believed the two men appeared to be nervous and that they gave conflicting stories.
During a search of the Expedition, the trooper found a large amount of cash in the rear of the vehicle. The trooper says Velez admitted that he knew the money was in the vehicle and indicated that he was involved in illegal activity in Houston.
Court documents show the trooper says Marcano-Vazquez admitted to committing the home invasion with Velez and stealing the cash. Troopers say the two men told them they used some of the money to buy the Expedition.
Marcano-Vazquez, 38, and Velez, 44, are both charged with aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon.
No bond has been set in this case.