Tag: mexico

Bulk cash seized by CBP in Dulles airport

San Diego CBP Money Seizure of $20,155 (yawn)

CBP in San Diego has quite a few ports, including Calexico, Otay Mesa, Cross Border Xpress, San Ysidro, and Tecate. CBP seizes cash from Mexicans and Americans at each of them

In early 2024, CBP officers in San Diego seized $20,155 in currency from someone going into Mexico. This kind of money seizure in San Diego are common. I have had numerous clients over the years traveling to Mexico for cosmetic procedures, to purchase real estate, to buy or sell cars at auction, or many other personal or economic reasons, all with money. So in this case, the seizure of $20,155 in unreported currency by Customs is not a surprise, so much that it almost seems not worth mentioning compared to the other seizures discussed in the story, like 472 pounds of narcotics. Anyway, here is the story from CBP:

SAN DIEGO — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers within the San Diego Field Office worked tirelessly despite severe inclement weather over the weekend seizing $2.4 million worth of narcotics, a weapon and currency.

A combined total of 367 packages were discovered in vehicles over the weekend testing positive for the properties of methamphetamine, fentanyl, and cocaine. Officers extracted narcotics from various locations in vehicles such as the trunk, roof, firewall, air intake box, doors, floorboards, gas tanks, and quarter panels. The narcotics seized by CBP had a combined weight of 472 pounds with an estimated street value of $2,483,780.

Adding to the weekend busts, CBP officers at the San Ysidro port of entry discovered a 9mm handgun, one 33-round extended magazine, 30 9mm rounds of ammunition, and marijuana in a traveler’s purse.

The final incident occurred when CBP officers at the San Ysidro port of entry encountered a vehicle traveling into Mexico. During inspection of the vehicle, CBP officers discovered unreported currency in the amount of $20,155.

Has San Diego CBP seized your money?

If San Diego CBP seized your money at Otay Mesa, Calexico, or elsewhere, we urge you to call us for a consultation before considering doing it yourself. You probably will not be happy with the outcome if you do, based on their’ aggressive posture in most cases. Read our trusted customs money seizure legal guide (or watch the videos) and can contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.

Stacks containing $125,306 in unreported U.S. currency seized by CBP officers at Laredo Port of Entry.

CBP Laredo seizes $125K in smuggled cash

Last month, CBP officers in Laredo seized $125,000 in bulk cash smuggled out of the USA into Mexico. The story highlights the consequences of failing to report currency amounts exceeding $10,000 and engaging in bulk cash smuggling, both civil and criminal offenses that can result in currency seizure criminal jeopardy.

Unless as person is involved in other illegal activity (i.e., drug crimes, money laundering, etc) then it’s unlikely the person will face criminal charges for simply carrying or hiding more than $10,000. Most of our (more than 630) clients over the past 14 years have never faced criminal prosecution for their currency reporting violations.

They do, however, usually face a difficult bureaucracy, confusing procedures, differing options, and arbitrary denials quite regularly. We specialize in navigating this complex terrain and providing assistance. But first, let’s delve into the details of this recent seizure publicized by CBP:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Gateway to the Americas Bridge recently seized over $125,000 in unreported currency hidden within a passenger vehicle during an outbound examination.

“It is important to acknowledge the efforts of our CBP officers who continue to maintain law and order,” said Port Director Alberto Flores, Laredo Port of Entry.  “Currency seizures intercepted play a significant role in reinforcing border security and safeguarding communities from the threat of illicit activities.”

The seizure occurred on Monday, November 20 at the Gateway to the Americas Bridge when a CBP officer conducting outbound examinations selected a 2014 Chevrolet Malibu driven by a 36-year-old male U.S. citizen for examination. After initial inspection, CBP officers conducted an intensive physical examination and discovered a total of $125,306 in unreported currency hidden within the vehicle.

CBP officers seized the currency. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents arrested the driver and initiated a criminal investigation.

Have you had cash seized by CBP in Laredo?

If you’ve had cash seized CBP in Laredo, you can learn more about the process from our trusted customs money seizure legal guide and can contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.

Stacks of cash totaling $96,800 in unreported currency seized by CBP officers at Hidalgo International Bridge in Texas

CBP seizes $96K in cash at Hidalgo Bridge

The latest press release from CBP deals with a cash seizure for, among other things, bulk cash smuggling and a failure to report cash on FinCen 105 form, at the Texas-Mexico southern border. The full story is available here.

In this story, we continue to see the government’s odd fixation with reporting the details of vehicle the individual was driving — here, a maroon Chevrolet SUV. Enjoy!:

HIDALGO, Texas—U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Hidalgo International Bridge intercepted $96,800 in undeclared currency from a traveler heading to Mexico.

“CBP officers conduct outbound enforcement operations to protect against unreported exportations of bulk U.S. currency, which can often be proceeds from alleged illicit activity, or currency that funds transnational criminal organizations,” said Port Director Carlos Rodriguez, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry.

On May 2, 2023, CBP officers conducting outbound enforcement operations at the Hidalgo International Bridge encountered a maroon Chevrolet SUV, driven by a 42-year-old male Mexican citizen traveling southbound to Mexico. A CBP officer referred the vehicle for further inspection. After physically inspecting the vehicle, officers discovered seven bundles of currency totaling $96,800 in various denominations concealed within a hidden compartment in the vehicle.

CBP OFO seized the currency and vehicle. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) arrested the driver and initiated a criminal investigation.

Have you had cash seized by CBP in Texas?

If you’ve had cash seized CBP in Texas, you can learn more about the process from our trusted customs money seizure legal guide and can contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.

Stacks totaling $198,902 in unreported cash seized by CBP in Texas

CBP Seizes $190K Cash at Pharr, Texas, bridge

If you’re going to Mexico with $198,902 and no plans to report it, you should probably take a toothbrush (so you can brush your teeth in jail) and a credit card for when you get out, because you’re going to lose the money and be accused of crimes.

That’s the lesson that should have been learned by this anonymous individual who attempting to take the nearly $200,000 from the United States to Mexico, for unknown reasons (but really, we all know it’s drug related, right?)

This story provides an opportunity to respond to a frequently asked question:

Question: “If I am traveling with money, do I need to bring proof of it being legal money?”

Answer: Generally, no, you don’t. You only need to fill out the FinCen 105 form if you are transporting (or causing to be transported) more than $10,000. But, that’s only going to get you out of a violation of the Currency and Monetary Instrument Reporting laws (Title 31).

If CBP still thinks you’re committing some other crime, like drug trafficking, money laundering, or something else, they can still seize the money (whether you filed a FinCen 105 form or not) because they think you’re doing something else wrong. If you have a criminal or arrest history significant for these types of crimes, the odds of seizure go up dramatically.

But, on to the text of the story from our friends in Pharr, Texas, at CBP:

PHARR, Texas—U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Pharr International Bridge intercepted $198,902 in undeclared currency from a traveler heading to Mexico.

“CBP officers conduct outbound enforcement operations to protect against unreported exportations of bulk U.S. currency, which often can be proceeds from alleged illicit activity, or currency that funds transnational criminal organizations,” said Port Director Carlos Rodriguez, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry.

On April 4, 2023, CBP officers conducting outbound enforcement operations at the Pharr International Bridge encountered a white Jeep driving southbound to Mexico. A CBP officer referred the vehicle for further inspection which included screening by a canine team. After physically inspecting the vehicle, officers discovered nine bundles of currency totaling $198,902 in various denominations concealed within the vehicle.

CBP OFO arrested the driver, seized the currency and vehicle, and the case remains under investigation by special agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Have you had cash seized by CBP in Texas?

If you’ve had cash seized CBP in Texas, you can learn more about the process from our trusted customs money seizure legal guide and can contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.

Cash Seized by El Paso Texas CBP

CBP Laredo Seizes $91K in Unreported Cash

CBP new’s releases have been lean on stories about money seizures for structuring, bulk cash smuggling, failure to report; the trinity of CMIR (currency and monetary instrument report) cases. These types of asset forfeitures all pertain to the movement of more than $10,000 in cash without filing the necessary FinCen 105 report.

For that reason, I am reaching back in time to some old news releases that I never had a chance to comment on before. In this Laredo story, a 30 year old man and 19 year old woman were heading to Mexico and failure to report $91,116, which was also concealed in their clothing and packages.

That sounds like both a violation of 31 USC 5316 (failure to report more than $10,000 currency) and 31 USC 5332 (bulk cash smuggling). In this case, the they were both arrested! That to me means there was further suspicion on the part of CBP that there was criminal activity beyond the CMIR violations afoot. Here’s the full story:

LAREDO, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) officers working outbound operations seized over $91,000 in undeclared currency in a single enforcement act.

. . .

The enforcement action occurred on Thursday, March 25 at the Juarez-Lincoln Bridge, when officers assigned to outbound operations selected a 2017 Chevrolet Equinox traveling to Mexico for inspection. A 30-year-old male United States citizen driver and 19-year-old female passenger were referred for a secondary examination. Upon physical inspection of the drivers’ clothing, packages containing $91,116 in undeclared U.S currency were discovered.

The currency was seized by CBP. Both subjects were arrested, and the case was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) special agents for further investigation.

Individuals are permitted to carry any amount of currency or monetary instruments into or out of the U.S., however, if the quantity is more than $10,000, they will need to report it to CBP.  . . . Failure to declare may result in seizure of the currency and/or arrest.

Has Laredo CBP seized your money?

Has Laredo CBP seized your money? If so, we can help. Read our helpful customs money seizure legal guide (or watch the videos) and contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.

Stacks of cash seized by CBP in Laredo

CBP Laredo Seizes $261K in Currency to Mexico

In two recent cases described in a news release below two individuals were arrested not filing a CMIR (FinCen 105 report) upon leaving the USA to Mexico.

The story is light on details — except, for some reason, what car the people were driving (for unknown reasons this is always so important at the Mexican border!).

There is no mention of bulk cash smuggling, though it seems likely the money was hidden and not reported. Even if they are criminally charged, both defendants would have the ability to get the money back provided they show the money has no nexus to illegal activity (legitimate source, legitimate use).

Here’s what CBP says recently happened at the nation’s southern border in Laredo, Texas, as described here:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) officers working outbound operations at the Juarez Lincoln Bridge, seized over $261,000 in two separate, unrelated incidents.

The first enforcement action occurred on Jan. 24, when officers assigned to outbound operations selected a 2009 Kia Sorento traveling to Mexico for inspection. The vehicle was driven by a 53-year-old female United States citizen. Upon physical inspection of the subject’s personal belongings, packages containing $65,560 in undeclared currency were discovered.

The second enforcement action occurred on Jan. 29, when officers intercepted a 2006 Ford F-150 traveling to Mexico and selected it for inspection. The vehicle was driven by a 34-year-old male Mexican citizen. Upon physical inspection of the subject’s vehicle, packages containing $195,731 in undeclared currency were discovered.

The seizures combined totaled $261,291.

The currency and vehicles were seized by CBP. Both drivers were arrested, and the cases were turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) special agents for further investigation.

Has Laredo CBP seized your money?

Has Laredo CBP seized your money? If so, we can help. Read our helpful customs money seizure legal guide (or watch the videos) and contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.

$201,585 in Unreported Currency Seized by CBP at Roma stacked in piles

CBP Officers Seize $201,585 in Unreported Currency at the Roma Port of Entry

I’ll give all my readers some free advice: if you have an extra $200,000 lying around, spend it inside the country — don’t take it across the border.

Why?

In today’s presentation of a CBP news release involving the misadventures of smugglers attempting to move cash across the border, we learn about a $201,585 which was seized in November 2020 as it was heading out to Mexico. Here’s the full story:

ROMA, Texas —U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Roma Port of Entry recently seized more than $200,000 in unreported currency concealed in a vehicle during an outbound examination.

“Our CBP officers are dedicated to stopping the movement of illegal contraband and unreported currency from coming in and out of ports of entry. Even in challenging times, it is clear that our officers are truly dedicated in carrying out their mission. Their hard work and expertise never goes unnoticed,” said Port Director Andres Guerra, Roma Port of Entry.

The seizure occurred on Wednesday, November 11, 2020 when CBP officers referred a 2013 Chevrolet 1500 for a secondary inspection.  With the utilization of a non-intrusive imaging system, CBP officers discovered $201,585 concealed within the vehicle.

CBP officers seized the currency. The case was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) 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 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.

Has Texas CBP seized your cash?

If Texas CBP seized your cash, we urge you to call us for a consultation before considering doing it yourself. You probably will not be happy with the outcome if you do, based on their’ aggressive posture in most cases. Read our trusted customs money seizure legal guide (or watch the videos) and can contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.

Bags of Money Seized by Texas CBP

CBP Texas Seizes $838,481 at Roma Texas

CBP officers in Texas prevented the attempted export of NEARLY ONE MILLION dollars in cash to Mexico, late last year. The money was driven in a vehicle by a U.S. citizen, and the money was concealed in the car. The story does not state that the driver was arrested, although it would be difficult to believe he was not.

ROMA, Texas —U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers Roma Port of Entry recently seized more than $838,000 in unreported currency concealed in a vehicle during an outbound examination.

The seizure occurred on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 when CBP officers referred a 2016 Chevrolet Colorado occupied by a male U.S. citizen for a secondary inspection.  With the utilization of a non-intrusive imaging system, CBP officers discovered $838,481 concealed within the vehicle.

CBP officers seized the currency. The case was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) special agents for further investigation.

Has Texas CBP seized your money?

Has Texas CBP seized your money? If so, we can help. Read our helpful customs money seizure legal guide (or watch the videos) and contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.

Cash seized by Brownsville CBP displayed to reporters

CBP Texas Seizes $46,085 in Smuggled Cash at Brownsville

CBP officers in Texas are the frontline of the United States in its war against illicit trafficking of narcotics and the proceeds of the sale of narcotics. For this reason, the are skeptical of people who were traveling across the border with large amounts of cash, especially when it is hidden and not reported before discovery.

In a story that comes out of Brownsville Texas, last fall, CBP officers encountered a twenty-year-old Mexican citizen departing the United States from Mexico. As part of the outbound inspection, officers discovered a total of $46,085 hidden inside the vehicle.

This is a classic case of bulk cash smuggling. Bulk cash smuggling occurs whenever anyone with the intent to not report the money to U.S. Customs upon importer export, hides it in some way with the intention that it not be discovered or reported.

Here’s the full story:

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Brownsville and Matamoros International Bridge Port of Entry seized $46,085 in bulk, unreported U.S. currency.

“CBP officers may conduct inspections before travelers leave the United States. This routine inspection led to this seizure and is a testament to the diligence and sense of duty our officers have when carrying out outbound inspections,” said Port Director Tater Ortiz, Brownsville Port of Entry.

The seizure took place on Thursday, Oct. 1, when CBP officers working at the Brownsville and Matamoros International Bridge encountered a 20-year-old male Mexican citizen from McAllen, Texas, as the driver of a gray 2012 Ford F-150, who was selected for an outbound inspection. CBP officers conducted a visual and physical search of the vehicle which resulted in the discovery of bulk undeclared U.S. currency totaling $46,085 hidden within the vehicle.

CBP officers seized the currency and the vehicle, arrested the traveler and turned him over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents for further investigation.

The penalties for bulk cash smuggling are steep, even if the money is shown to be from a legitimate source and have a legitimate intended use. Moreover, the likelihood of criminal charges arising from the bulk cash smuggling at the Mexico border are greater than for a simple failure to report.

Has Brownsville CBP taken your cash?

If Brownsville CBP has taken your cash, please 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.

An image of $3M in crisp bills stacked high in a cube in bundles

CBP San Diego Seized Unreported Smuggled Cash

CBP in San Diego has quite a few ports, including Calexico, Otay Mesa, Cross Border Xpress, San Ysidro, and Tecate. CBP seizes cash from travelers heading into and out of Mexico from the United States at each of them. A lot of the cash seized there is for innocent reasons, such as workers moving across the border with their savings, people traveling to invest in property in Mexico, medical procedures, etc. Many of these cash seizures by customs are for a simple failure to report.

Back in September, one of these money seizures made it into the CBP news release cycle, and I’m just now getting to posting about it here. In this particular story, a vehicle was heading to Mexico at Otay Mesa , when officers discovered currency hidden (probably bulk cash smuggling!) In a backpack wrapped in a black shirt. Here’s the full story:

SAN DIEGO — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized more than $90,000 in currency at the ports of entry along the California borders with Mexico, encompassing Andrade, Calexico, Otay Mesa, Cross Border Xpress, San Ysidro and Tecate.

From Sept. 21 to Sept. 27, CBP officers with the help of CBP K-9 teams intercepted numerous currency smuggling attempts heading south of the border into Mexico. CBP officers identified specific vehicles for inspection resulting in the discovery of unreported currency that was being smuggled out of the country.

“I can honestly say that teamwork played a big role after seeing the successful rate of interceptions,” said Anne Maricich, Director of Field Operations for CBP in San Diego. “Their enforcement efforts and experience are put to the test regularly and the results are phenomenal when the focus is to protect this country.”

One of the most significant seizures during this past week occurred Friday when CBP officers stopped a vehicle at Otay Mesa headed into Mexico.  CBP officers targeted a 2016 Cadillac CTS with two occupants. While searching the vehicle, officers discovered almost $51,000 of unreported currency hidden inside a baby backpack wrapped in a black shirt, located on floor of the front passenger side.  CBP officer seized the currency.

Has San Diego CBP seized your cash?

If San Diego CBP seized your cash at Otay Mesa, Calexico, or elsewhere, we urge you to call us for a consultation before considering doing it yourself. You probably will not be happy with the outcome if you do, based on their’ aggressive posture in most cases. Read our trusted customs money seizure legal guide (or watch the videos) and can contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.