Brownsville, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and Border Patrol agents conducting outbound enforcement operations at the Brownsville port of entry seized $381,060 in bulk U.S. currency.
On Feb. 20, CBP officers and Border Patrol agents working outbound enforcement operations at the Brownsville and Matamoros International Bridge came in contact with a red 1996 Dodge Ram as it attempted to exit the U.S. and enter Mexico. The driver, a 19 year-old U.S. citizen from Pharr, Texas, traveling with two minors was referred to secondary for further inspection. In secondary, a search of the Dodge resulted in the discovery of 15 packages of bulk U.S. currency hidden within the vehicle.
CBP officers seized the currency the vehicle and the case has been referred to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) special agents for further investigation.
"Brownsville CBP officers and Border Patrol agents working together on outbound enforcement prevented this large amount of bulk U.S. currency from being exported without meeting reporting requirements and in violation of federal law. I commend our officers and agents for their outstanding contribution to the seizure of undeclared currency," said Michael Freeman, CBP port director in Brownsville.
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.