Brownsville, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at the Veteran's International Bridge seized approximately 35.6 pounds of cocaine and officers at the Gateway International Bridge seized $261,000 in bulk U.S. currency.
On August 9, CBP officers working at the Brownsville Veteran's International Bridge came in contact with a northbound 2005 Nissan Titan pickup truck. The male driver was identified as a 41-year-old U.S. citizen from San Benito, Texas. After the initial primary inspection, a CBP officer referred the driver and vehicle to secondary for further examination. In secondary, officers seized 15 packages of alleged cocaine that were found in a compartment within the vehicle's dashboard area. The cocaine was valued at $1,141,453. The Titan pickup truck was also seized by CBP.
On August 10, CBP officers and Border Patrol agents working an outbound enforcement operation at the Brownsville Gateway International Bridge came in contact with a 2002 Chevrolet Suburban that was traveling south, headed into Mexico. The driver was identified as a 25-year-old U.S. citizen female from Galveston, Texas. A passenger was identified as a 33-year-old U.S. citizen female from Pasadena, Texas. A CBP officer referred the vehicle and both females to secondary for further inspection. In secondary, officers found four packages within the vehicle's driver and front passenger seats containing a total of $261,000 in U.S. currency. CBP officers seized the currency and the Chevy Suburban.
The two females and one male driver were transferred to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) for further investigation.
Michael T. Freeman, CBP port director, Brownsville said, "Our frontline officers continue seizing hard narcotics such as this significant amount of cocaine. Within the last few days, our cadres of officers have seized heroin, marijuana, cocaine and now a significant amount of U.S. bulk currency that was being exported to Mexico contrary to U.S. law."
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.