Brownsville, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and Border Patrol agents conducting outbound enforcement operations at the Brownsville Port of Entry seized $200,018 in bulk U.S. currency.
On February 23, CBP officers and Border Patrol agents working outbound enforcement operations at the Brownsville and Matamoros International Bridge encountered a red 2009 Dodge Ram as it attempted to exit the United States and enter Mexico. The driver, a 39 year-old citizen of Mexico who resides in Brownsville, Texas, was referred to secondary for further inspection. In secondary, a search of the Dodge resulted in the discovery of nine bundles of bulk U.S. currency hidden within the vehicle.
CBP officers seized the currency the vehicle and the case has been referred to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) special agents for further investigation.
"Our team working outbound inspections at B&M Bridge has stopped this alleged exportation of bulk U.S. currency without meeting proper reporting requirements. I congratulate our CBP officers and agents for preventing this undeclared currency from being taken out of the country," said Michael Freeman, CBP port director, Brownsville.
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.