Calexico, Calif. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Calexico East port of entry intercepted over $316,000 in unreported U.S. currency during outbound inspections on the evening of June 29.
The incident occurred at approximately 6:00 p.m. as the anti-terrorism contraband enforcement team conducted inspections of outbound vehicles and stopped a black 1999 Honda Accord driven by a 22-year-old female U.S. citizen with two passengers: a 26-year-old male Mexican citizen and a 17-year-old female U.S. citizen.
During the secondary inspection that included the use of a density meter and a detector dog, CBP officers found 11 wrapped packages containing unreported currency hidden inside the right rear quarter panel of the vehicle.
CBP officers arrested the driver, a resident of Cudahy, California, and one of the passengers, a resident of Culiacan, Sinaloa, turning them over to the Homeland Security Investigations- Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents for further investigation. The 17-year-old minor was release to the custody of family members.
CBP officers seized the money and vehicle. It is a federal offense not to declare currency or monetary instruments totaling more than $10,000 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.