HIDALGO, TEXAS—Officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations at the Hidalgo International Bridge seized $360,025 in unreported currency from a male Mexican citizen that was attempting to enter Mexico.
The incident occurred on Thursday evening, May 2, when CBP-OFO officers working at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge encountered a blue 2005 Dodge Dakota pickup that was attempting to cross the border into Mexico. The vehicle, driven by a 23-year-old male Mexican citizen from San Luis Potosi, Mexico, was selected for further inspection and was referred to secondary. During the process of the secondary inspection, officers noted irregularities within the vehicle and further inspection revealed multiple hidden packages of unreported U.S. currency. Officer discovered and seized a total of 36 packages, which totaled $360,025 in unreported U.S. currency and also seized the vehicle.
CBP-OFO arrested the male traveler and subsequently released him to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents for further investigation.
"This outstanding seizure of unreported currency was accomplished due to excellent teamwork from our CBP-OFO officers," said Efrain Solis Jr., port director, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas. "People who fail to declare currency in excess of $10,000 entering or leaving the country will face penalties or be subject to having CBP seize all of the unreported currency."
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.