Tag: california

Bulk cash hidden in the vehicle panels seized by U.S. Customs & Border Protection

CBP Seizes $273,005 in Smuggled Cash

CBP discovered over a quarter-million dollars hidden in the right-rear quarter-panel of a Dodge Durango that was being driven out of the United States into Mexico. The story states the driver of the vehicle was arrested for a failure declare cash over $10,000, but pretty obviously, this was more about a bulk cash smuggling offense (which is also a criminal offense).

CALEXICO, Calif. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Calexico ports of entry over the weekend intercepted $273,005 in unreported U.S. currency and discovered approximately $57,400 worth of methamphetamine in two separate smuggling attempts.

The first incident occurred on Apr. 7, at around 8 p.m., at the Calexico East port of entry, when CBP officers conducting southbound inspections of travelers heading to Mexico stopped a 2001 white Dodge Durango. Officers referred the driver for a more in-depth examination.

After an intensive examination that included an alert from a currency and firearms detector dog and use of the port’s imaging system, officers discovered 11 wrapped packages containing $273,005 in U.S. currency concealed inside the right rear quarter panel of the vehicle.

The driver, a 60-year-old male and lawful permanent resident of the United States, was arrested for failure to declare monetary instruments in value of more than $10,000 and was turned over to HSI agents for further investigation.

Theoretically, if the driver of the vehicle that the $250,000 cash was hidden inside of could prove that the money came from a legitimate source and had a legitimate intended use, he might be able to get some of the money back, even if he is criminally convicted. It’s not very likely, but it might be possible. The likelihood this could happen is reduced in bulk cash smuggling cases as opposed to failure to report cash cases due to the activity that is prohibited in the case of each law; in the case of failing to report cash, the prohibited activity is not reporting cash of more than $10,000. In this case of bulk cash smuggling, the prohibited activity is the concealing of cash with the intent to avoid filing the required cash report.

 

CBP Seized Cash From Travelers in 2015

U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) seized cash from travelers in lower numbers in 2015 compared to 2014. In its Border Security Report (which can be read in HERE), CBP says it “seized more than $129 million in unreported currency through targeted enforcement operations.” “Targeted enforcement operations” is just a fancy way of saying that they seized cash from travelers at a border crossing at an airport.

What is noteworthy is that CBP cash seizures from travelers is way down from last year – by about 54%. In 2014, the total amount of cash seized from travelers was $237 million. It breaks down the number for four southwest states:

  • Arizona = $2,102,688 (way down from $3,475,523 last year)
  • Texas = $9,171,935 (slightly up from $7,732,830 last year)
  • New Mexico = $975,880 (slightly up from $969,830 last year)
  • California = $7,739,869 (way down from $12,908,976 last year)

In 2013, CBP seized cash from travelers in the amount of about $106 million. So the numbers are less than last year’s staggering numbers — by a lot, but more in line with the totals from the year before last. It will be interesting to see what 2016 holds travelers who get their cash taken by CBP. We will not now until the beginning of CBP’s fiscal year, which starts on October 1, 2016.

We should also note that these numbers very likely include not only money seized for “unreported currency” but also for currency that was structured or part of a bulk cash smuggling offense.

CBP seized cash from travelers like you!

If CBP seized cash from travelers like you, you can learn more about the process from our trusted customs money seizure legal guide and can contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.

 

Border Patrol Seizes $138k in Cash

Not quite a customs currency seizure, but similar enough to the topic and the stories we write about on this customs law blog that I thought it good to share it, for those interested. Border patrol seized around $138k in cash that was stashed away in the tailgate of a pick-up truck being driven by a 40 year old U.S. citizen. Border patrol does exactly what their name indicates; the patrol the borders. In this case, nothing in the story suggests that the vehicle was attempting entry into Mexico so I would say this stop did not occur “at the border” where the government can essentially search you without limitation. Because it did not occur “at the border” the police would have had to get a warrant to search the vehicle, or it would have to fall under one of the warrant exceptions. The driver made this easy for border patrol, because he consented to the search of his vehicle anyway (oops). That’s always a bad idea. Here’s the story:

U.S. Border Patrol agents patrolling Interstate 5 arrested a man on Tuesday who had a large quantity of illicit cash hidden inside the tail gate and other areas of his truck.

More than $130K was concealed inside this truck.
More than $130K was concealed inside this truck after requesting permission from 40-year-old U.S. citizen to search the back end of his truck.

At approximately 8 a.m., agents on southbound Interstate 5 stopped a 2004 Chevrolet Colorado truck. Agents approached the 40-year-old U.S. citizen and received permission to search the back end of his truck.

A quick glimpse with a flashlight revealed that the tail gate interior was filled with bundles of cash. Agents arrested the man and transported the vehicle to a nearby station for further investigation. Agents found additional bundles of cash behind the truck tail lights and in the man’s pockets. More than $130K was concealed inside the truck between the tail-gate and tail-light body panels.

The search yielded a seizure of $137,017 in U.S. currency. The man was turned over to agents from Homeland Security Investigations for currency smuggling. The cash and vehicle were seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.

If you have had currency seized from Customs do not try to respond yourself but hire our firm, because we know what we are doing and have successfully handled many cases like yours. If you have questions, please give us a call at (734) 855-4999. We are able to assist with cash seized by customs around the country, including Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Orlando and many other places, and not just locally in Detroit. Please read these other articles:

  1. Seizure of currency and monetary instruments by U.S. Customs
  2. Seizure for bulk cash smuggling into or out of the U.S.
  3. Structuring currency imports and exports
  4. Is it $10,000 per person?  Under what circumstances is filing a report with Customs for transporting more than $10,000 required?
  5. Criminal & civil penalties for failing to report monetary instrument transportation
  6. Is only cash currency subject to seizure by Customs?
  7. Responding to a Customs currency seizure
  8. How do I get my seized money back?
  9. Getting money seized by U.S. Customs back while staying overseas
  10. How long does it take Customs to decide a petition for a currency/monetary instrument seizure?
  11. Statute of Limitations for Currency Reporting Violations
  12. Filing a Petition for Seized Currency (with Sample and Tips) with CBP
  13. Don’t Talk About Your Customs Currency Seizure Case

Customs Seizes Nearly $226K

A new bulk cash smuggling case out of Yuma sector/California. This is different from the Customs seizures of currency our firm’s clients who have their money seized at airports around the country when traveling internationally. A bulk cash smuggling charges decreases the likelihood of a favorable return of seized currency. You can read the fully story here, but the relevant excerpt is below:

A Yuma Sector Border Patrol canine team alerted and located 57 grams of marijuana, 172 grams of hash, 700 milligrams of cannabis oil, drug paraphernalia, and $225,655 rp_Money-Stack-300x3001-300x300-300x300.jpgU.S. currency, while attempting to travel through Blythe Station’s checkpoint on California Highway 78. The vehicles, drugs, paraphernalia, U.S. currency, and all subjects will be processed per Yuma Sector guidelines.

If you have had cash seized by customs and are contemplating what to do next then use the information available on this website and call our office at (734) 855-4999 to speak to a customs lawyer, or e-mail us through our contact page. We are able to assist with cash seized by customs around the country, including Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Orlando and many other places, and not just locally in Detroit. Please read these other articles:

  1. Seizure of currency and monetary instruments by U.S. Customs
  2. Seizure for bulk cash smuggling into or out of the U.S.
  3. Structuring currency imports and exports
  4. Is it $10,000 per person?  Under what circumstances is filing a report with Customs for transporting more than $10,000 required?
  5. Criminal & civil penalties for failing to report monetary instrument transportation
  6. Is only cash currency subject to seizure by Customs?
  7. Responding to a Customs currency seizure
  8. How do I get my seized money back?
  9. Getting money seized by U.S. Customs back while staying overseas
  10. How long does it take Customs to decide a petition for a currency/monetary instrument seizure?
  11. Statute of Limitations for Currency Reporting Violations
  12. Filing a Petition for Seized Currency (with Sample and Tips) with CBP
  13. Don’t Talk About Your Customs Currency Seizure Case