Cash Seized by U.S. Customs and Arrest for Bulk Cash Smuggling

U.S. Customs reports on a recent customs bulk cash smuggling seizure from a Mexican national attempting to leave the United States. The money was seized and he is being criminally charged. The total amount seized from this individual was $37,181. In order to prevail on criminal bulk cash smuggling charges government must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, the cash seized by customs was concealed in the vehicle for the purposes of evading the reporting requirement. That’s the essence of the crime of bulk cash smuggling.

Even though the currency was also seized as being involved in a bulk cash smuggling offense, there is a possibility to recover some of the money. To put it somewhat simply, first, he will need to establish that the seized cash came from a legitimate source and had a legitimate intended use. Then, the seized cash can be returned to the extent that seizure is unconstitutional: in other words, that seizure is a violation of the excessive fines clause of the U.S Constitution.

Let’s have a look at the story:

EAGLE PASS, Texas – Federal authorities at the Eagle Pass of Entry arrested a Mexican national Jan. 7, after finding a large amount of undeclared currency in his vehicle as he attempted to leave the country.

“Large amounts of currency may be imported and exported with the proper documentation,” said John Brandt, CBP Port Director, Eagle Pass. “Failure to report international transit of $10,000 or more could mean forfeiture of funds and criminal sanctions.Cash Seizure by Customs

“Seizing undeclared currency at ports of entry serves to deprive criminal organizations of their profits.”

Around 3 p.m. Jan. 7, CBP officers at Eagle Pass International Bridge I, inspected a 2014 Volkswagen GLI as is departed the United States bound for Mexico. During inspection, officers discovered a total of $36,645 in U.S. currency and 7,890 Mexican pesos ($536.37 U.S.) in various locations throughout the vehicle and in the driver’s possession. Officers recovered currency totaling $37,181.

The driver, a 25-year-old Sabinas, Coahuila, Mexico man, was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations for federal prosecution on a charge of 31 U.S. Code § 5332 – bulk cash smuggling into or out of the United States.

The Office of Field Operations is the primary organization within U.S. Customs and Border Protection tasked with an anti-terrorism mission at our nation’s ports. CBP officers screen all people, vehicles and goods entering the United States while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel. Their mission also includes carrying out border-related duties, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration and trade laws, and protecting the nation’s food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases.

You can read our popular page on Responding to a Customs Money Seizure HERE. Our customs law firm handles currency/money seizures made by customs in Detroit and around the country; call (734) 855-4999 to consult with a customs lawyer today. If you have had money seized by Detroit CBP/customs call our office at (734) 855-4999 to speak to a lawyer, or e-mail us through our contact page (see our case results here). We are able to assist with cash seized by customs nationwide, including Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Orlando.

Please read these other articles about money seizures by customs:

  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. How do I get my seized money back from customs?
  8. Getting money seized by U.S. Customs back while staying overseas
  9. How long does it take Customs to decide a petition for a currency/monetary instrument seizure?
  10. Targeted Enforcement for Customs Money Seizures
  11. Statute of Limitations for Currency Reporting Violations