PRESIDIO, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Presidio port of entry seized $68,422 Thursday afternoon. The money was discovered hidden within the front dashboard of the vehicle. Two U.S. citizens were arrested.
CBP officers were conducting a southbound inspection operation at the Presidio crossing when at approximately 3:30 p.m. a 2011 Chevrolet Silverado pick-up approached the checkpoint. The driver and vehicle were selected for an intensive inspection. During the x-ray inspection of the vehicle the officers noticed anomalies within the front dashboard area. Further inspection of the dashboard revealed currency bundles wrapped in black tape hidden within.
CBP officers seized the money and vehicle. The driver, 35 year-old Guadalupe Villarreal Johnson of Ciudad Acuna, Coahuila, Mexico and her passenger, 30 year-old Gina Villarreal Johnson of Fort Stockton, Texas, were arrested and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement HSI special agents in connection with the failed smuggling attempt.
“CBP officers are working hard to stop the illegal movement of guns, ammunition and unreported currency,” said CBP Presidio Port Director John Deputy. “Travelers who do not follow federal currency reporting requirements run the risk of losing their currency and may potentially face criminal charges.”
While anti-terrorism is the primary mission of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the inspection process at the ports of entry associated with this mission results in impressive numbers of enforcement actions in all categories.