Oceanside, Calif. - U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested one male and two elderly female Mexican nationals on Friday for attempting to smuggle more than $1 million inside a Ford Explorer.
At approximately 12:00 p.m., agents on patrol near Oceanside stopped a suspicious 1997 Ford Explorer traveling southbound on Interstate 5 near Oceanside Harbor Boulevard.
Agents requested and were granted consent to search the vehicle. Agents performed an interior inspection of the vehicle and discovered two large black duffle bags with 74 cellophane-wrapped bundles containing $1,129,191 in U.S. currency.
The 41-year-old male driver was taken into custody and subsequently turned over to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of Homeland Security Investigations. The two female passengers, ages 78 and 81, were found to be in violation of their terms of admission and were returned to Mexico. The currency and vehicle were seized by the U.S. Border Patrol pending forfeiture proceedings.
Rodney Scott, Acting Chief Patrol Agent of the San Diego Sector, said, "Stopping this suspected drug money from entering Mexico not only denies criminal organizations the funds necessary to support their operations but also keeps our communities safer."
To prevent illicit smuggling of humans, drugs and other contraband, the U.S. Border Patrol maintains a high level of vigilance on major corridors of egress away from our nation's borders. To report suspicious activity related to border security, please call (619) 498-9900.
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 U.S. borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.