CBP Seizes $61K Illegally Headed to Mexico, Stops 16 Fugitives over Weekend
San Diego - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers over the weekend at border crossings along the California/Mexico border stopped a man trying to illegally smuggle $61,000 in undeclared money into Mexico and 16 fugitives trying to enter the U.S. with active warrants, including one U.S. citizen attempting to elude capture by using someone else's legitimate documents and four illegal aliens with warrants for their arrest caught using someone else's legitimate documents or counterfeit documents.
At about 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 3, CBP officers performing inspections along Interstate 5 south at the San Ysidro border crossing stopped a 38-year-old male Mexican citizen and resident of Tijuana driving a black 2001 Suzuki Esteem as he was heading from the U.S. to enter Mexico.
A CBP officer with a currency and firearms detector dog screened the vehicle, and the canine alerted to the vehicle's back seat. CBP officers searched the car and found seven white envelopes and one bundle hidden underneath the back seat cushion. Officers found a total of $61,082 in undeclared currency inside the envelopes and bundle.
CBP officers seized the money, and turned custody of the man over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents; he is currently booked into the Metropolitan Correctional Center facing criminal charges.
It is a federal offense not to declare currency or monetary instruments totaling more than $10,000 to a CBP officer upon entry or exit from the U.S. or to conceal it or split it up with intent to evade reporting requirements. Failure to declare may result in seizure of the currency and/or arrest.
CBP officers also caught a total of 16 fugitives with active warrants for their arrest over the weekend, including a U.S. citizen imposter and four illegal aliens, for offenses such as probation violations, larceny, and others.
On Saturday, at about 9:30 p.m., a 26-year-old male U.S. citizen and resident of Ontario, Calif. approached the Otay Mesa port of entry as a passenger in a vehicle. The man presented the CBP officer with a U.S. birth certificate and a California driver's license, which the CBP officer suspected did not belong to him.
CBP officers established the man's identity using his fingerprints, and during a query of law enforcement databases discovered a no-bail felony warrant for a parole violation, issued at the request of the California Department of Corrections.
At about 4:30 p.m. on Friday at the Calexico west border crossing a 37-year-old male Mexican citizen and resident of La Huacana, Michoacan, Mexico, presented a CBP officer at the pedestrian processing area a Mexican passport with a stamp denoting the holder as a temporary lawful permanent resident. The CBP officer immediately suspected that the passport and stamp were counterfeit, and referred the man aside for further inspection.
CBP officers confirmed the man's identity using his fingerprints, and discovered that he is an illegal alien with no legal ability to enter the U.S. A query of law enforcement databases also revealed an outstanding warrant for a failure to appear violation, issued at the request of law enforcement officials in Ventura County.
At about 5:45 p.m. that day, a 36-year-old male Mexican citizen and resident of Mexico City presented a valid border crossing card at the northbound pedestrian processing area of the San Ysidro border crossing. The CBP officer noted that the photo of the card's legitimate owner did not appear to match the man attempting to use the card as an entry document to cross into the U.S., so the officer referred him aside for further inspection.
CBP officers confirmed the man's identify using his fingerprints. A query of law enforcement databases revealed that had no legal ability to enter the U.S., and had an active warrant for his arrest. The no-bail felony warrant for burglary was issued at the request of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Office.
The next day, at about 3 a.m., a CBP officer stopped a 42-year-old female Mexican citizen and resident of Plan del Capulin, Puebla, Mexico after she presented a valid lawful permanent resident card, or green card, at the San Ysidro pedestrian crossing. The CBP officer noted that the photo of the card's legitimate owner did not appear to match the woman attempting to use the card as an entry document to cross into the U.S.
CBP officers confirmed the woman's identity using her fingerprints. A query of law enforcement databases revealed that she had no legal ability to enter the U.S., and had an active warrant for her arrest. The $10,000-bail felony warrant for burglary was issued at the request of the Orange County Sheriff's Office.
Later on Saturday, at about 11:15 p.m., a 27-year-old female Mexican citizen and resident of Tijuana walked to the San Ysidro port of entry and presented the CBP officer with a valid U.S. passport. The CBP officer determined that the passport did not belong to her.
CBP officers determined the woman's true identity, and confirmed it through fingerprint identification. A query of law enforcement databases revealed that she had an outstanding warrant for her arrest for fraud, with bail set at $25,000, issued at the request of the Orange County Sheriff's Office. Officers also determined that she has no legal ability to enter the U.S.
The fugitive apprehended at the Calexico border crossing was turned over to officers with the Calexico Police Department. In each other instance, the fugitive was arrested and sent to either the San Diego County Jail or the Las Colinas Women's Detention Facility.
In addition to these imposters with warrants for their arrest, CBP officers all along the California/Mexico border caught more than one hundred other persons trying to illegally enter the U.S. over the weekend, either by using counterfeit documents, legitimate documents that did not belong to them, or by trying to evade inspection altogether, such as by hiding in the trunk of a car or in a hidden compartment.
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.