CALEXICO, CALIF.—U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Calexico downtown port of entry Thursday discovered approximately $11,400 worth of marijuana and intercepted $35,018 in unreported U.S. currency in two separate smuggling attempts.
The first incident occurred shortly after 6 p.m. on Nov. 14, when CBP officers were conducting southbound inspections of travelers heading to Mexico through the Calexico downtown port of entry. Officers targeted a 2006 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck and referred the driver, a 30-year-old male, and vehicle for a more in-depth examination.
During an intensive inspection that included an alert from a currency and firearms detector dog and use of the port’s imaging system, officers discovered two wrapped packages of U.S. currency concealed inside the center console between the vehicle’s front seats.
Later in the evening, at about 10:30 p.m., a CBP officer encountered a 30-year-old male U.S. citizen who had entered the port driving a 2007 Ford Fusion. During the inspection, the officer discovered wrapped packages of an unknown substance concealed under the rear seats of the vehicle.
The vehicle and driver were escorted for further inspection.
During the inspection, officers extracted 12 packages, which field tested positive for marijuana, weighing a total of 25.35 pounds.
The driver, a resident of Calexico, was arrested and turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) agents for further processing and was later transported to the Imperial County Jail to await arraignment.
CBP seized the vehicles, narcotics, and currency.
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.