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