Nogales, Ariz. - In less than a week, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers stopped three currency smuggling attempts at the Nogales port of entry, seizing more than $724,000 in cash.
The first seizure occurred on May 15 at about 7:30 p.m. CBP officers screening traffic going into Mexico as part of southbound operations selected a 2003 GMC Sonoma being driven by a 33-year-old man from Surprise, Ariz., for inspection. During the inspection,
CBP officers discovered anomalies in the spare tire and, upon opening the tire, discovered $400,000 in cash hidden inside.
The second seizure happened on May 24 at a little after 10 a.m., when officers screening traffic leaving the country stopped a 44-year-old man from Culiacan, Mexico, driving a Jeep Cherokee out of the country. During an inspection of the vehicle, officers discovered more than $24,000 hidden in the oil pan of the vehicle.
The third seizure occurred on May 27 at about 7:30 p.m. Officers conducting outbound inspections selected a 2007 Dodge Ram pickup being driven by a 29-year-old man from Tucson, Ariz., for inspection. During a thorough search of the truck, the officers discovered more than $300,000 concealed in the vehicle.
The currency and vehicles were seized and all three men were turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further investigation.
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.