Calexico, Calif. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers intercepted over $316,000 in reported U.S. currency during outbound inspections at the Calexico East port of entry yesterday evening.
The incident occurred at about 6 p.m. when officers with the port's Anti-Terrorism Contraband Enforcement Team were conducting 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, an intensive examination that included the use of a density meter and a detector dog led to the discovery of 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 the passenger, a resident of Culiacan, Sinaloa, and turned them over to the custody of ICE 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.
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.