CBP Seizes $82,000 in Currency

In a news release issued today from Customs we learn about a recent customs money seizure in Brownsville, Texas, that involves concealing the currency inside a vehicle. Because the news release does not contain the individual’s name involved in the bulk cash smuggling and failure to report offense, it seems likely that she was not ultimately arrested. This seems to be confirmed by the fact that the news release explains that, in order to get the seized money back from customs, you may file a petition and prove legitimate source and a legitinate intended use. See our selection of articles by our customs lawyer below the following excerpt for more on the process of getting your seized money back from customs.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers conducting outbound enforcement operations at the Brownsville Port of Entry seized $81,864 in bulk U.S. currency.

“Vigilance in our outbound enforcement inspections is critical to our efforts of keeping undeclared currency from being exported without meeting proper reporting requirements. I commend our CBP officers for an outstanding seizure and arrest in this alleged bulk currency smuggling case,” said Michael Freeman, CBP Port Director, Brownsville.

On December 7, 2013, CBP officers working outbound enforcement operations at the Brownsville and Matamoros International Bridge came in contact with a 2002 Chrysler Town & Country as it attempted to exit the United States and enter Mexico. The female driver, a 42 year-old United States citizen from Brownsville, Texas was referred to secondary for further inspection. In secondary, a search of the Chrysler resulted in the discovery of three packages of bulk U.S. currency hidden within the vehicle.

CBP officers seized the currency; the driver has been transferred into the custody of U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents for further investigation.

It is not a crime to carry more than $10,000, but it is a federal offense not to declare currency or monetary instruments totaling $10,000 or more [Editor’s Note: Actually, the law says 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. An individual may petition for the return of currency seized by CBP officers, but the petitioner must prove that the source and intended use of the currency was legitimate.

If you have had cash seized by customs and are contemplating what to do next, please make use of the other information available on this website or 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?