Calexico, Calif. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers intercepted over $316,000 in reported U.S. currency during outbound inspections at the Calexico East port of entry yesterday evening.
The incident occurred at about 6 p.m. when officers with the port’s Anti-Terrorism Contraband Enforcement Team were conducting inspections of outbound vehicles and stopped a black 1999 Honda Accord driven by a 22-year-old female U.S. citizen with two passengers, a 26-year-old male Mexican citizen and a 17-year-old female U.S. citizen.
During the secondary inspection, an intensive examination that included the use of a density meter and a detector dog led to the discovery of 11 wrapped packages containing unreported currency hidden inside the right rear quarter panel of the vehicle.
CBP officers arrested the driver, a resident of Cudahy, California, and the passenger, a resident of Culiacan, Sinaloa, and turned them over to the custody of ICE agents for further investigation. The 17-year-old minor was release to the custody of family members.
CBP officers seized the money and vehicle.
It is a federal offense not to declare currency or monetary instruments totaling more than $10,000 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.