NOGALES, ARIZ.—Customs and Border Protection officers assigned to Tucson Field Office seized nearly $261,000 in unreported U.S. currency Tuesday from a woman headed for Mexico through the Dennis DeConcini Port.
Officers conducting outbound inspections selected a 40-year-old Mexican woman and her teen-age son for additional questioning, and a closer examination of their Buick sedan. When officers noticed someone had tampered with the gas tank, they decided to remove it for further inspection. Inside the tank, officers found 21 packages containing $260,640.
The unreported funds and vehicle were processed for seizure. The woman was arrested and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations. Her son was released to family members without further incident.
Since launching the Southwest Border Initiative in March 2009, unprecedented shifts in staffing and infrastructure at Arizona's ports have improved the focus and intensity of operations. These shifts are resulting in more narcotics interceptions; while tougher outbound enforcement is yielding record interceptions of unreported currency, weapons and wanted felons.
Individuals arrested are charged with a criminal complaint, which raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
CBP's Office of Field Operations is the primary organization within Homeland Security tasked with an anti-terrorism mission at our nation's ports. CBP officers screen all people, vehicles and goods entering the United States while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel. Their mission also includes carrying out border-related duties, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration and trade laws, and protecting the nation's food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases.
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.