“Strapped” for Cash? U.S. Customs Will Seize It!

In a currency seizure reported by U.S. Customs, customs seized $50,000 from a 25 year old man headed into Mexico and arrested him; although not specifically stated in the story, the money was probably arrested for bulk cash smuggling and failure to report, which carries with it criminal consequences. If this guy could prove the money came from a legitimate source and had a legitimate intended use, then this customs cash seizure was completely avoidable. 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 (you can read our popular page on Responding to a Customs Money Seizure HERE).

 Here are the details from customs:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the San Ysidro port of entry Wednesday discovered $51,300 in unreported U.S. currency concealed underneath the clothing of a man traveling to Mexico on foot.

The incident occurred on November 4, at about 11:20 a.m., when CBP officers were conducting southbound inspections of travelers heading to Mexico through the San Ysidro port of entry. Officers targeted a 25-year-old male Bundled Currency Seized by U.S. CustomsU.S. citizen, and escorted him to a secure area for further examination.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers inspecting travelers walking south into Mexico at the San Ysidro port of entry found these bundles of cash strapped (pictured at right) to a 25-year-old male U.S. citizen.During the inspection, a CBP currency and firearms detector dog alerted to the man, leading officers to the discovery of eleven wrapped bundles of U.S. currency concealed underneath layers of his clothing.

The man, a resident of Hacienda Heights, California, was arrested and turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations agents. He was later transported to the Metropolitan Correctional Center to await criminal arraignment. CBP seized the money.

It is a federal offense not to declare currency or monetary instruments totaling 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.

The fact that he was arrested might (but not necessarily does) indicate that customs believed he was transporting the money for some illegal purpose beyond just the smuggling/failure to report violation itself. Apparently the cash wasn’t wrapped good enough to get past the detetction dog‘s might impressive sense of smell.

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 customs currency seizures:

  1. Seizure of currency and monetary instruments by U.S. CustomsKeep Calm and Declare Monetary Instruments Exceeding $10,000 USD
  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