Tag: texas

Stacks of bills totaling $16,152 in unreported currency seized by CBP officers at Eagle Pass Port of Entry.

Texas CBP Seizes $12k from Old Man’s Boot

CBP Texas seized $12,030 from a 69 year-old U.S. citizen who was heading to Mexcio. The money he carried was “hidden in his right boot” and the man was arrested and turned over to local law enforcement for investigation. Thus, the title of this post.

To be sure, failing to report money and bulk cash smuggling are crimes. In this case, hiding money in your boot and not reporting it to Customs is a crime. However, in my experience (which is limited to the client’s I’ve had), bulk cash smuggling does not result in an arrest but only an enhanced penalty.

Therefore, it is my hope that this elderly man was up to no good (i.e., carrying money on behalf of the cartels) and not just an old man who was trying to keep his money in a safe place as he headed into the criminal uncertainties of Mexico.

EAGLE PASS, Texas—U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) interdicted . . . a total of $12,030 in undeclared currency … at [the] Eagle Pass Port of Entry.

On April 19, CBP officers inspected a 2013 Chevy Express van traveling outbound at the Camino Real Bridge along with the passengers. During the physical inspection of a 69-year-old male United States citizen, officers discovered $12,030 of unreported currency hidden within his right boot. The undeclared money was seized and the subject was arrested and turned over to Maverick County Sheriff’s Office 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.

Stacks of bills totaling $163,130 in unreported currency seized by CBP officers at Hidalgo International Bridge

Texas CBP Seizes $214K in Undeclared Cash

Below is a report by Texas CBP of seizure of cash leaving outboun to Mexico, which was seized from a 23-year-old Mexican national. The young man had $214,000 hidden in his vehicle, and what surely will prove to be a classic case of bulk cash smuggling (bulk cash smuggling is when money is hidden with the intent of not reporting it to CBP).

From our own experience, CBP in states like Texas and California seem to be more active in seizing cash than the Northern states where CBP is operating. This although the U.S.-Mexico border is closed to non-essential travel through June 22, and the U.S.-Canada border until June 21.

Here is the story:

HIDALGO, Texas—U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the … Anzalduas International Bridges intercepted … $214,000 in unreported U.S. currency … [at the end of February 2020].

* * *

The currency seizure occurred on Feb. 21 after CBP officers assigned to the Anzalduas-Reynosa International Bridge performing outbound inspections selected a silver 2018 Kia Forte driven by a 23-year-old from Guadalajara for further inspection. A thorough secondary examination resulted in officers discovering 18 bundles of U.S. currency totaling $214,000 hidden within the car.

The story ends by stating that the CBP Office of Field Operations (OFO) seized the currency and the vehicle in the failed smuggling attempts. The men were also arrested.

Have you had cash seized by Texas CBP?

If you have had cash seized by Texas CBP, we can help. Read our trusted customs money seizure legal guide or can contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.

CBP Seizes $45k Currency and Vehicle in Laredo

Though money seizures from traveler’s have slowed at the nation’s airports due to the pandemic, such is not the case at our nation’s land-borders, especially with Mexico. As an example, today we bring our customs law blog’s audience Customs seizure of $45,000 in unreported cash heading to Mexico about a month ago. The story was also picked up by Breitbart (why this run-of-the-mill seizure merited their attention I can only guess).

In this case, not only the currency was seized, but also the vehicle. The people involved were not arrested, however. The seizure of the vehicle might mean that they suspect more was going on than just some people traveling with cash that they did not want to report; it could also be seized because it is what the cash was smuggled inside of… that is called bulk cash smuggling.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) officers working outbound operations seized over $45,000 in undeclared currency in a single enforcement act over the weekend.

“CBP’s national security mandate is complex, ranging from Anti-Terrorism to more traditional counter drug operations,” said Port Director Gregory Alvarez, Laredo Port of Entry. “This seizure of $45,157 is a direct reflection of our continuous commitment to enforce federal currency reporting requirements.”

On Friday, April 11, officers assigned to outbound operations referred a 2020 Toyota Avalon traveling to Mexico for examination. Upon physical inspection of the vehicle and subject’s personal belongings, packages containing $45,157 of undeclared currency were discovered. The vehicle and currency were seized by CBP.

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

Has Laredo CBP seized your cash?

If CBP in Laredo has seized your cash, you need a lawyer. Read 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.

$17,200 of seized cash spread out on a metal table

San Antonio CBP Seizes $32k Cash in 2 Incidents

The travel restrictions in the United States due to coronavirus have severely limited travel, resulting in a decrease in CBP cash seizure activity due to decreased volume of travel. This is particularly true of air travel, and even the U.S Canada Border. However, that’s not as true at the southern border which is not hit as hard as the northern part of the country (especially Michigan and Chicago, where our offices are located).

In January, CBP reported on two cases where travelers’ from Mexico had money seized totaling about $32,000. The money was seized for cash structuring violations in both cases, which can result in increased penalties if legitimate source and intended use of the seized cash is proven.

The total amount seized from the travelers reached more than $32,000. This currency was seized at San Antonio International Airport CBP officers seized $17,200 in unreported currency when a pair of travelers refused to provide a truthful report.

“There is no limit to the amount of currency a traveler can bring in or take out of the U.S.,” said San Antonio Acting CBP Port Director Jose Mendiola. “The only requirement is that travelers must complete a Currency Reporting Form when traveling internationally with currency valued at $10,000 or more.”

According to Mendiola, the currency is not limited to U.S. dollars. “Currency is any monetary instrument including foreign coins, travelers’ checks, and gold. Basically any negotiable instruments whose collective value reaches $10,000 or more.”

Mendiola added that this requirement also applies to passengers travelling together and carrying currency that exceeds $10,000 dollars. When passengers split up the currency amongst themselves to avoid reporting it that is currency structuring.

Currency structuring led to a seizure, Jan. 22, when CBP officers inspected a pair of Global Entry travelers arriving from Mexico. A 60-year-old citizen of Mexico declared $9,915 and his 44-year-old companion, also a Mexican citizen, declared $4,800. Both passengers completed a Customs Declaration Form declaring those amounts. However, when CBP interviewed the pair they admitted that they divided the money before boarding their flight and that the currency belonged to only one passenger. The final amount seized was $14,807. CBP also revoked both travelers’ Global Entry memberships.

Not both of the travelers above last their global entry membership because of their alleged failure to report cash and cash structuring, which is a common practice by CBP. More significantly though is what might happen in the future; permanent loss (forfeiture) of all of the money, or a steep penalty (which could be 50% or more of the total amount seized).

The second seizure occurred Jan. 23, when CBP officers inspected another pair of travelers who arrived from Mexico. These passengers initially claimed to be traveling alone. The 26-year-old Mexican national claimed to be traveling with $9,000 and completed a Customs Declaration Form reporting that amount. CBP officers later encountered a 25-year-old Mexican citizen who declared traveling with $8,200 and signed a Customs Declaration Form reporting that amount. During CBP processing the pair admitted that they had divided the currency before boarding the flight and decided to enter the CBP processing area separately. Total amount seized in this instance was $17,200.

Nationwide, in fiscal year 2019, CBP seized $68,879,080 in currency. Fiscal year 2020 through Jan. 23, currency seizures are at $20,808,879. In the Houston region, which includes San Antonio and Dallas, currency seizures reached over $1M and have increased 54% over the same time last fiscal year.

Has San Antonio CBP seized cash from you?

If San Antion CBP seized cash from you, we urge you not to try to get the money back on your own. You will not be happy with the outcome. 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.

Pile of $715,010 in Cash Seized by CBP

HUGE $715K cash seizure by CBP

CBP in Texas made a HUGE cash seizure totaling $715,010. That’s not a typo: SEVEN HUNDRED FIFTEEN THOUSAND AND 10 DOLLARS.

Astonishing. 

The story below is light on details, except to say that the cash was discovered in 32 packages on a commercial bus, and that it was all seized. It was mostly in $20 bills.

No word about arrests whatsoever, or if there were people on the bus who were involved. That’s kind of odd. Most stories about money seizures indicate who was involved, and what happened to them.

Could it be that 32 different people traveling on the bus were each carrying around $22,324 in cash back home to their families in Mexico, or were going for some extended vacations?

If not, this is a great example of bulk cash smuggling. That is, hiding cash with the intent to not file the currency report (FinCen 105).

Here’s the story from CBP:

HIDALGO, Texas—Officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Hidalgo International Bridge intercepted $715,010 in unreported U.S. currency in a commercial bus attempting to enter into Mexico.

“This seizure certainly ranks amongst the most notable currency interceptions accomplished by the Hidalgo Port of Entry,” said Port Director Carlos Rodriguez. “In our past encounters, these large sums of unreported currency are usually associated with illicit activities and OFO will seize these proceeds.”

This seizure occurred on Sept. 24 after CBP officers conducting outbound operations at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge referred a commercial bus for further inspection. A thorough examination, which included the utilization of a non-intrusive imaging (NII) system, resulted in officers discovering 32 packages containing U.S. currency hidden within the bus. The currency denominations included $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100, with the majority being $20 bills.

CBP OFO seized the currency, the commercial bus and the case remains under investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents.

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.

Have you had money seized by CBP in Texas?

If CBP in Texas has seized your cash, you need a lawyer. Read 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.

Image of $221,319 in cash seized by U.S. Customs & Border Protection in Roma, Texas.

CBP Seizes $221,319 Cash at Falcon Dam, Texas

CBP officers in Texas confiscated $221,319 from the passengers of a vehicle heading to Mexico. The story from CBP explains the seizure happened the Saturday of Labor Day weekend, when CBP stopped a vehicle drive by a 41 year old male outbound to Mexico.

The headline and the story itself indicate that the money was simply undeclared; however, the details of the incident describe the money was hidden in eight bundles within the vehicle.

Here’s the full story:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations officers at the Falcon Dam Port of Entry recently seized over $200,000 in unreported currency hidden within a passenger vehicle during an outbound examination, Aug. 31.

“Our frontline CBP officers continue to maintain resolute vigilance in both the inbound and outbound environments and their attention to detail helped to detect a significant load of unreported currency,” said Port Director Andres Guerra, Roma/Falcon Dam Port of Entry. “Large outbound currency seizures like this deny the ability of transnational criminal organizations to profit from alleged illicit activity, impacting them directly.”

The seizure occurred on Aug. 31 at Falcon Dam Port of Entry when a CBP officer conducting outbound examinations selected a 2012 Nissan Maxima driven by a 41-year-old male Lawful Permanent Resident for examination. After initial inspection, CBP officers conducted an intensive physical examination and discovered eight bundles containing a total of $221,319 in unreported currency hidden within the vehicle.

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

Have you had money seized by CBP in Texas?

If CBP in Texas has seized your cash, you need a lawyer. Read 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.

Currency bundles wrapped in black tape were hidden within the tailgate of the truck. The cash was seized by CBP.

Customs Confiscates $170k Cash from Truck Tailgate

In Texas recently, the CBP seized a lot of cash that was hidden inside the tailgate of a pick-up truck that was being driven into Mexico.

That last line of the story is ever-present in cash seizure news releases, but gives the wrong impression. What do you supposed would happen if the driver reported the money in this case?

“Excuse me, officer, I would like a FinCen 105 because I have to report some money; I’ve got $170,000 stored in my tailgate.”

If you’ve got $170,000 stored in your tailgate, surely you’re up to no good. And even if you report the money as required by 31 USC 5316, the officers are probably still going to seize the money for other alleged criminal activity, like money laundering, drug trafficking, etc.

Here’s the text of the story, enjoy!

PRESIDIO, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Presidio port of entry seized $170,030 Saturday afternoon. The money was discovered hidden in the tailgate of a pick-up truck.

CBP officers were conducting an outbound operation at the Presidio crossing when at approximately 12:50 p.m. a 2018 Nissan Titan pick-up driven by a 48-year-old U.S. citizen, accompanied by a 23-year-old Mexican citizen passenger approached the inspection area. Further inspection of the vehicle revealed currency bundles wrapped in black tape hidden within the tailgate of the truck.

CBP officers seized the money and vehicle and turned the driver and passenger to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement HSI special agents in connection with the failed smuggling attempt.

“CBP officers are working hard to stop the illegal movement of guns, ammunition and unreported currency,” said Michael Neipert, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Presidio port director. “Travelers who do not follow federal currency reporting requirements run the risk of losing their currency and may potentially face criminal charges.”

Pile of cash totaling more than $600,000 seized by U.S. Customs & Border Protection in Brownsville, Teas

Brownsville CBP Seizes $644,285 in Cash

Everything — including CBP cash seizures — are bigger in Texas. Case in point: Last week, CBP officers in Brownsville, Texas, seized more than a half-million in cash from two forty-ish year old U.S. citizens who were heading to Mexico.

The facts in these cases always lead me to believe the currency was being moved as part of the illegal drug trade, and that the men moving the money were likely mules just moving the cash from the sale of drugs made by others, back to the shippers in Mexico. The men picked are likely picked because they do not arouse suspicion, and so CBP should get all the more credit for making a huge seizure such as this.

Here’s the full story (original here) on this mega-cash seizure from Brownsville CBP.

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Brownsville and Matamoros International Bridge Port of Entry seized $644,285 in unreported bulk U.S. currency and more than $17,000 in cocaine in separate, unrelated enforcement actions.

“Our CBP officers did an outstanding job in taking down this significant load of bulk currency . . . ” said Port Director Tater Ortiz, Brownsville Port of Entry. “Their vigilance and experience were key factors in their successful interceptions.”

The . . . seizure took place on Wednesday, Sept. 5, when CBP officers working at the Brownsville and Matamoros International Bridge came in contact with a 42-year-old male United States citizen from Brownsville, Texas, and a 40-year-old male United States citizen from Brownsville, Texas, and a passenger in the same vehicle who were selected for a routine outbound inspection.  With the aid of a non-intrusive inspection system and canine unit, CBP officers discovered multiple packages of bulk U.S. currency totaling $644,285 hidden within the vehicle.

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

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.

Piles of cash sit atop evidence bags after seizure by U.S. Customs in Brownsville, Texas

Customs Seizes $46,536 in Bulk Cash at B&M Bridge

Earlier this year, CBP officers in Brownsville, Texas, seized a lot of money from a a pedestrian who was leaving the United States for Mexico, although the man was a Mexican national. Cash seizures by Customs officials at the land border between the United States in Mexico in such a large a mount are usually connected with the illegal drug trade.

That’s just one reason why traveling with $46,000, by foot to Mexico, is more suspicious than flying with $46,000 from Hong Kong to Las Vegas for a trip.

The Customs officers who seized the cash search him, and discovered “multiple packages” of bulk cash that totaled more than $46,000. The cash was seized, and the man was arrested (hint: bulk cash smuggling is a crime). Traveling with money out of the country is not illegal, but traveling with more than $10,000 out of the country and not reporting it to CBP is illegal, and will very likely result in seizure of the money.

The full story follows:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Brownsville and Matamoros International Bridge Port of Entry this weekend seized $46,536 in bulk, unreported U.S. currency.

“Our officer’s constant vigilance and experience made this currency seizure possible,” said Port Director Tater Ortiz, Brownsville Port of Entry.

The seizure took place on Sunday, Mar. 18, when CBP officers working at the Brownsville and Matamoros International Bridge came in contact with a 22-year-old male Mexican citizen from Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico, who was selected for a routine outbound inspection. CBP officers conducted a visual and physical search of the bags the traveler was carrying which resulted in the discovery of multiple packages of bulk U.S. currency totaling $46,536 hidden within the bags.

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

Have you had bulk cash seized by CBP?

The process of getting undeclared currency seized by CBP back is long and complicated; most importantly, legitimate source and intended use must be proven. If CBP seized bulk cash from you, 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.

A CBP officer conducts a primary inspection at the SENTRI lane at Hidalgo International Bridge.

CBP seizes $11,00 from Trusted Traveler participant

Recently, CBP in Texas seized almost $11,000 from a “trusted traveler” who hid the money in her purse, in what sounds like it might be a bulk cash smuggling violation. I get several clients who have had money or undeclared goods seized, and who are members of trusted traveler programs, and are upset to find out that they are losing their trust traveler privileges. CBP has recently published a compilations of reasons people have been denied or had Global Entry revoked available here.

As this article somewhat explains, participation in these programs is a privilege, not a right; it is based on CBP’s determination that you are a low risk. If you demonstrate that you are no longer a low risk by not declaring goods or cash, then you will lose the privilege. The full story is available here, but it is edited for clarity by yours truly, as follows:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Hidalgo International Bridge recently seized $10,652 in unreported U.S. currency from a Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection (SENTRI) member utilizing the trusted traveler lane.

On March 2, CBP officers at the Hidalgo International Bridge conducting inspections at the SENTRI lane selected a 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe for further inspection. The vehicle was driven by a 40-year-old female United States citizen from Pharr, TX. During the secondary search, officers discovered a total of $10,652 in unreported U.S. currency concealed throughout the woman’s purse.

CBP OFO seized the currency and revoked the woman’s SENTRI privileges. The case remains under investigation by Homeland Security Investigations special agents.

“CBP would like to remind the traveling public that SENTRI is a trusted traveler program, and any violations of program rules, such as non-declaration of currency in excess of $10,000, can lead to permanent revocation of SENTRI privileges,” said Port Director Carlos Rodriguez, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry. “SENTRI members have demonstrated that they are low-risk travelers, and should be reminded that they are not exempt from inspection and more importantly, that violations of customs, immigration, agriculture laws and federal currency reporting requirements can lead to suspension from the program.”

SENTRI is a trusted traveler program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the U.S. via a dedicated lane. Participants must undergo a rigorous background check and in-person interview.

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. “Money” means monetary instruments and includes U.S. or foreign coins currently in circulation, currency, travelers’ checks in any form, money orders, and negotiable instruments or investment securities in bearer form. Failure to declare may result in seizure of the currency and/or arrest.

Have you had cash or goods seized by CBP?

If you had cash or goods seized by CBP and are a trusted traveler, you will lose your trusted traveler status. However, you might still be able to get the seized cash or goods back if you act quickly; contact Great Lakes Customs Law for a consultation to learn what you can do to get your cash and goods back from CBP.