OCEANSIDE, Calif.— U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a 35-year-old woman suspected of smuggling a large amount of illicit currency after a vehicle stop on Interstate 5 near Oceanside.
On Wednesday, Dec. 20th, at approximately 5 p.m., the agents stopped the suspect vehicle, a 2012 Jeep Cherokee, on the southbound lanes of the freeway. During the stop, a Border Patrol K-9 alerted to the rear of the vehicle. Further inspection revealed a suitcase filled with bulk currency.
The cash totaled $532,596 in U.S. dollars, and is suspected to be proceeds from illicit narcotics sales.
“This cash seizure denies transnational criminal organizations of illicit proceeds used to run criminal enterprise,” said Thomas Blanks, Patrol Agent in Charge of the San Clemente Border Patrol Station.
The woman was arrested and turned over to agents from Homeland Security Investigations. The vehicle and currency was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.
Coincidentally, San Diego Sector Border Patrol had a $290,000 cash seizure on the same highway on the same date last year. The largest cash seizure by San Diego Sector was $3,000,000 on Aug 23rd, 2016.
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.