OCEANSIDE, Calif.—U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a 23-year-old man who was smuggling a large amount of illicit currency after a vehicle stop on Interstate 5 near Oceanside on Monday morning.
At approximately 10 a.m., the agents stopped the suspect vehicle, a 2015 Nissan Altima, on the southbound lanes of the freeway, near the Harbor Drive exit. During the stop, a Border Patrol K-9 alerted to the trunk of the vehicle. A further inspection revealed a sealed 5-gallon bucket of paint in the trunk of the car. When agents removed the cover, they discovered six vacuum-sealed bundles containing the cash.
The subsequent count of the cash totaled $290,000 in U.S. currency. The cash is suspected to be proceeds from illicit narcotics sales.
“This seizure is a product of the tremendous abilities of Border Patrol agents and canine assets to detect and interdict smuggling activity along the Interstate 5 corridor,” said Thomas Blanks, Patrol Agent in Charge of the San Clemente Border Patrol Station.
The man was arrested and turned over to agents from Homeland Security Investigations. The vehicle and currency was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.
To prevent the illicit smuggling of humans, drugs, and other contraband, the U.S. Border Patrol maintains a high level of vigilance on corridors of egress away from our Nation’s borders. To report suspicious activity to the U.S. Border Patrol, contact San Diego Sector at (619) 498-9900.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.