HIDALGO, Texas—U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Hidalgo International Bridge intercepted $269,525 in unreported U.S. currency from a Donna, Texas man who was allegedly attempting to exit into Mexico.
“Working outbound operations at our international bridges allows us to detect export violations, which include failure to adhere to federal currency reporting requirements,” said Port Director Efrain Solis, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry. “Importing or exporting currency is a simple process, and a traveler can lawfully transport any amount of currency as long as these currency reporting requirements are followed.”
On Jan. 19, CBP officers assigned to outbound operations at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge encountered a 33-year-old male U.S. citizen driving a white 2005 Ford F-150 pickup truck attempting to exit into Mexico. Officers selected him and his vehicle for further inspection and during the secondary examination, officers discovered bundles of U.S. currency hidden within the pickup. CBP OFO removed and seized nine bundles containing a total of $269,525 in unreported U.S. currency.
CBP OFO seized the vehicle and arrested the Donna resident who was ultimately released to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) 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.