Two Mexican national women were trying to exit the U.S. at a port and enter Mexico when they were suspected of smuggling something, and searched. According to this CBP news release:
During the search, a CBP officer noticed the woman appeared to be concealing something under her clothing, which turned out to be $20,000 in
cash. A further search revealed another $13,400 in her shoes and $5,600 in a pair of pants she was carrying. Officers then found $10,979 in the woman’s purse, bringing the total amount seized to $49,979.
Two hours later, officers referred a 43-year-old woman from Nogales, Sonora, for further inspection as she was about to exit the U.S. through a pedestrian lane. A subsequent search led to the discovery of $11,361 in her purse. The woman told officers the money came from selling drugs and that she was being paid to deliver the funds back to Mexico.
Nearly $11k was located in the purse of a woman who was caught trying to bring nearly $50k into Mexico.
All funds were seized and both women were arrested on charges of bulk cash smuggling.
Well, this case is pretty clear if the woman admitted the money came from the proceeds of drug sales. This type of illegal activity is one of the very reasons for the requirement to report more than $10,000 being transported across the border. For most people who innocently run afoul of the law, if they could prove legitimate source and legitimate intended use of the funds then they have a good chance at getting back their money.
If you have had currency seized from Customs, I strongly advise against trying to do it yourself. Get the help of an experienced attorney who knows what he is doing. If you do not, you might only make the situation worse by handling it on your own or hiring a lawyer who does not regularly handle these types of matters.
To inform yourself, please read the various articles I have written on this and related topics. But do not let it replace the advice of attorney who is familiar with the law and your particular circumstances. If you have questions, please give us a call at (734) 855-4999.