San Ysidro - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and agents, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service worked together to arrest a man attempting to leave the country with $30,323 and man with U.S. mail belonging to other people, during southbound inspections at the San Ysidro port of entry.
Yesterday morning at 11:55 a.m. on the I-5 freeway south, an ICE agent targeted a 29-year-old U.S. citizen male driving a 2005 Honda Civic and pulled him over for a secondary inspection. During the inspection, a CBP officer searched the man for officer safety and discovered bundles of money strapped to both ankles.
The man had a total three bundles strapped to his right ankle, two strapped to his left ankle, and money in his wallet totaling $30,323 in undeclared U.S. currency.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested the man and transported him to the Metropolitan Correctional Center to await arraignment. CBP seized the money and vehicle.
Earlier in the day at about 11 a.m. a CBP officer and Border Patrol agent encountered a 23-year-old Mexican man onboard a bus heading into Mexico. During the course of their inspection the officer and agent found various documents, U.S. mail, and checks that did not belong to the man.
U.S. Postal Inspectors responded and arrested the man for possession of stolen property and transported him to the San Diego County Jail.
"These two apprehensions are great examples of what can be accomplished when there is cooperation and coordination between agencies," said San Ysidro Port Director Chris Maston. "Not only did we stop money from getting into the hands of the cartels, but we also protected citizens from fraud and identity theft."
Southbound examinations have successfully stopped a myriad of other illegal activity such as stolen vehicles and trade and immigration violations, he said.
"Instead of a trip out of the country, this individual gets a trip to jail by stealing the mail. The Postal Inspection Service remains committed to the protection and security of the nation's mail system," said Bernard B. Ferguson, Inspector in Charge, Los Angeles Division, U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
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.