NOGALES, ARIZ.—Two male Mexican nationals were arrested Thursday for attempting to smuggle $376,510 in unreported U.S. currency into Mexico through the Dennis DeConcini Port.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and U.S. Border Patrol agents conducting outbound inspections selected a Ford truck driven by a 58-year-old Caborca, Sonora, Mexico, man for further inspection. During the search of the truck, which was loaded with items the man said he purchased at a swap meet, officers found a box supposedly containing lawn furniture. The box actually contained seven packages of unreported U.S. currency totaling $348,840. The vehicle and cash were seized.
Officers and agents conducting outbound inspections referred a Ford truck driven by a 25-year-old, Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, man for further inspection. During the search a zip-lock bag, a fast-food sack and a brownie mix box were discovered concealing unreported U.S. currency totaling $27,670.
In both incidents, the currency and vehicles were seized. Both men were arrested and now face state charges for bulk cash smuggling.
CBP officers working at Arizona's ports are assigned to the Office of Field Operations, the primary organization within Customs and Border Protection tasked with an anti-terrorism mission. CBP officers screen all people, vehicles and goods entering the United States while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel. Their mission also includes carrying out border-related duties, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration and trade laws, and protecting the nation's food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases.
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.