Brownsville CBP Officers Seize $644,285 in Unreported U.S. Currency and $17,170 in Cocaine in two Seizures at the B&M Bridge
BROWNSVILLE, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Brownsville and Matamoros International Bridge Port of Entry seized $644,285 in unreported bulk U.S. currency and more than $17,000 in cocaine in separate, unrelated enforcement actions.
“Our CBP officers did an outstanding job in taking down this significant load of bulk currency and a body-carried load of cocaine in back-to-back seizures,” said Port Director Tater Ortiz, Brownsville Port of Entry. “Their vigilance and experience were key factors in their successful interceptions.”
The first seizure took place on Wednesday, Sept. 5, when CBP officers working at the Brownsville and Matamoros International Bridge came in contact with a 42-year-old male United States citizen from Brownsville, Texas, and a 40-year-old male United States citizen from Brownsville, Texas, and a passenger in the same vehicle who were selected for a routine outbound inspection. With the aid of a non-intrusive inspection system and canine unit, CBP officers discovered multiple packages of bulk U.S. currency totaling $644,285 hidden within the vehicle.
The second seizure took place on Friday, Sept. 7, at the Brownsville and Matamoros International Bridge when a 41-year-old male Mexican citizen who resides in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico, applied for entry into the United States and was referred to CBP secondary for further examination. During the examination, CBP officers discovered a package hidden under the man’s clothing. CBP officers removed the package, which contained a total of 2.23 pounds of alleged cocaine with an estimated street value of $17,170.
CBP officers seized the currency and narcotics, arrested the travelers and turned them over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents for further investigation.
It is not a crime to carry more than $10,000, but it is a federal offense not to declare currency or monetary instruments totaling $10,000 or more to a CBP officer upon entry or exit from the U.S. or to conceal it with intent to evade reporting requirements. Failure to declare may result in seizure of the currency and/or arrest. An individual may petition for the return of currency seized by CBP officers, but the petitioner must prove that the source and intended use of the currency was legitimate.
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.