Jamaica, N.Y. - Pablo Bautista, a legal permanent resident of the U.S. from Buffalo, N.Y., tried to carry $3,600 in counterfeit currency through U.S. Customs and Border Protection at JFK airport.
On June 1, Bautista, a 25-year-old citizen of the Dominican Republic, arrived at JFK International Airport from Santiago, Dominican Republic. He was selected for a routine CBP inspection.
Bautista presented two suitcases for examination. CBP officers determined that nothing was unusual in his luggage. However, upon routine questioning, Bautista's answers were inconsistent. He began displaying signs of extreme nervousness. CBP officers decided to further the exam.
Bautista's pockets were checked, producing a roll of U.S. currency. The bills were all faded in color and a majority of the bills had the same serial number. It was evident that these bills were counterfeit. The bills were verified to be counterfeit by agents of the U.S. Secret Service. Bautista was placed under arrest for the importation of counterfeit U.S. currency. A total of $3,600 in counterfeit U.S. currency was seized.
"CBP officers work closely with our partners in the U.S. Secret Service to interdict counterfeit monetary instruments which have an adverse effect on our economy," said Robert E. Perez, director of field operations for the CBP New York field office.
Bautista's case was accepted for state prosecution. The case is being prosecuted by the Office of Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown. If sentenced, Bautista will spend time in prison.