Tag: pharr

Stacks of money seized by CBP officers in Pharr, Texas.

Texas CBP seizes $85K in unreported and smuggled money; 1 arrested

Another day, another customs money seizure. This one in particular happened to the U.S.-Mexico border in Pharr, Texas, and actually involved an arrest. CBP officers can arrest anyone for the not reporting, structuring, or smuggling cash, but most often, they do not.

The cash reporting requirement laws in Title 31 of the U.S. Code allow for CBP to choose whether to proceed as a civil matter or criminal matter. For the unlucky 19 year old fellow involved in the what seems to be a bulk cash smuggling offense, he was arrested.

There are no specifics on how the money was hidden within the vehicle, only that it was discovered by a non-intrusive examination. Here’s the story:

PHARR, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry this weekend seized $85,000 in unreported currency hidden within a vehicle during an outbound examination.

“Or officer continue to maintain strict vigilance and that dedication to duty, inspection skill and experience contributed to this significant outbound currency seizure,” said Port Director Carlos Rodriguez, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry. “These types of seizures, often involving proceeds from illicit activity, have significant impact and reflect CBP’s ongoing commitment to our priority border security mission.”

Stacks containing $85,000 in unreported U.S. currency seized by CBP officers during an outbound examination at Pharr International Bridge.

The seizure occurred on Sunday, April 14 at the Pharr International Bridge when a CBP officer referred a southbound vehicle driven by a 19-year-old male U.S. citizen for a secondary examination. Following a thorough examination that included use of a nonintrusive inspection system, CBP officers discovered a total of $85,000 in unreported currency hidden within the vehicle.

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

Has Texas CBP seized your money?

If Texas CBP seized your money at Pharr, Hidalgo, Anzalduas, Laredo, 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 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.