Outstanding Enforcement Posture by CBP Officers Yields $5.8 Million in Methamphetamine and $214K in Undeclared U.S. Currency
HIDALGO, Texas—U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Hidalgo and Anzalduas International Bridges intercepted $5,801,000 worth of alleged methamphetamine and $214,000 in unreported U.S. currency in three separate, unrelated incidents this past weekend.
“Our officers continue to demonstrate their resiliency and resolve towards CBP’s mission of keeping drugs from entering our country at the U.S.-Mexico border,” said Port Director Carlos Rodriguez, Port of Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas. “CBP is the first line of defense at the border and we will continue to stem this flow to the best of our ability.”
The currency seizure occurred on Feb. 21 after CBP officers assigned to the Anzalduas-Reynosa International Bridge performing outbound inspections selected a silver 2018 Kia Forte driven by a 23-year-old from Guadalajara for further inspection. A thorough secondary examination resulted in officers discovering 18 bundles of U.S. currency totaling $214,000 hidden within the car.
On Saturday, Feb. 22, CBP officers at the same border crossing encountered a 20-year-old man from Guadalupe, Nuevo Leon, Mexico driving a black Volkswagen Touareg SUV attempting to enter the U.S. Utilizing a (canine team) as part of the secondary inspection, officers discovered 119 pounds (53.93 kg) of alleged liquid methamphetamine concealed within the SUV. These drugs are valued at $2,378,000.
On Feb. 23, CBP officers working at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge referred a 36-year-old man from Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico and the black 2000 Ford Expedition he was driving for further inspection. Officers conducting the secondary examination discovered alleged liquid methamphetamine hidden within the gas tank, a total of 171 pounds (77.64 kg) with a street value of $3,423,000.
CBP OFO seized the narcotics, currency and vehicles used in the failed smuggling attempts. OFO also arrested the three men and turned them over to the custody of agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for further investigation.
It is not a crime to carry more than $10,000, but it is a federal offense not to declare currency or monetary instruments totaling $10,000 or more to a CBP officer upon entry or exit from the U.S. or to conceal it with intent to evade reporting requirements. Failure to declare may result in seizure of the currency and/or arrest. An individual may petition for the return of currency seized by CBP officers, but the petitioner must prove that the source and intended use of the currency was legitimate.
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 official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.