Carlsbad, Calif. - Yesterday, U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a 54-year-old male Mexican national in Carlsbad for smuggling more than $462,000 hidden in an aftermarket compartment in a Chevrolet Silverado.
Yesterday morning at about 9:30 a.m., agents on patrol in Carlsbad spotted a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck being driven in an erratic and suspicious manner on southbound Interstate 5. Agents conducted an immigration stop on the vehicle near Tamarack Avenue. The driver's nervous demeanor and inconsistent responses led agents to request the assistance of a Border Patrol K-9 team. The K-9 team performed a cursory inspection of the vehicle which resulted in a positive alert to the passenger-side front fender.
Agents performed an interior inspection of the truck and discovered an aftermarket compartment on the passenger side near the engine firewall. Agents gained access to the compartment, where they discovered 42 cellophane-wrapped bundles containing $462,566 in currency.
The suspected smuggler and bulk cash were taken into custody and subsequently turned over to the ICE Office of Homeland Security Investigations. The Border Patrol processed the currency and Silverado for forfeiture proceedings pending the outcome of the ICE investigation.
To prevent illicit smuggling of humans, drugs and other contraband, the U.S. Border Patrol maintains a high level of vigilance along the border and also on major corridors of egress away from our nation's borders.
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.