CALEXICO, CALIF.—U.S. law enforcement officials in Calexico, Calif. found more than $750,000 cash hidden in a gas tank Monday, in a vehicle headed into Mexico.
At about 10 a.m., U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers, together with members of the Imperial Valley Border Enforcement Security Task Force, were conducting inspections of vehicles in the U.S. headed south into Mexico at the downtown Calexico port of entry.
Officers targeted a silver 2005 Honda Accord, driven by a 24-year-old female U.S. citizen, for inspection.
A CBP officer with a currency/firearms detector dog screened the vehicle, and the canine alerted to the gas tank area.
Officials found 42 packages of unreported U.S. currency, vacuum sealed in clear plastic bags, floating within the gas tank. The currency totaled $762,930. Officials also found another $221 in U.S. currency on the driver.
CBP officers seized the currency and the vehicle, and turned the driver over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents with the Imperial Valley Border Enforcement Security Task Force. The San Diego U.S. Attorney's Office will prosecute the driver.
The Imperial Valley Border Enforcement Security Task Force is an ICE-led group of officers from federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. These agencies include the Imperial Police Department; U.S. Customs and Border Protection, including the U.S. Border Patrol and the Office of Field Operations; the Drug Enforcement Administration; and the FBI.
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.