Brownsville, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Brownsville and Matamoros International Bridge seized $267,617 in bulk U.S. currency in two separate, unrelated incidents.
“I commend our team for these outstanding seizures of unreported U.S. currency,” said Port Director Petra Horne, Brownsville Port of Entry. “We remind all travelers that importing or exporting currency is not illegal although it is a violation not to report it to Customs and Border Protection.”
On June 12 CBP officers working at the Brownsville and Matamoros International Bridge came in contact with a green 1999 Dodge Caravan as it attempted to make entry into the United States from Mexico. The driver, a 74-year-old male United States citizen from San Benito, Texas, was referred to secondary for further inspection. During the inspection and with the use of a vehicle non-intrusive imaging system, officers detected packages, which later resulted being unreported U.S. currency hidden within the vehicle. Officers removed and seized multiple packages of bulk U.S. currency totaling $217,617.
On June 13 CBP officers working outbound operations at the Brownsville and Matamoros International Bridge came in contact with a brown 1999 Chevy Tahoe as it attempted to exit the United States into Mexico. Officers referred the driver, a 21-year-old male United States citizen residing in Matamoros, Mexico for further secondary inspection. During the examination, CBP officers discovered five packages of bulk U.S. currency hidden within the vehicle, totaling $50,000.
CBP officers seized the currency along with the vehicles and the cases were referred to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents for further investigation.
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.