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Stacks of U.S. currency seized by CBP for not being reported in the amount of $142,000

Unreported Cash Seized by CBP in Nogales

CBP officers in Nogales, Arizona, made some big cash seizures this week. In the first case, $143,000 was seized and in the second case, only $20,000 was seized.

Here’s the story:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations, officers arrested 2 Mexican nationals and a U.S. citizen for separate alleged attempts to smuggle nearly $163,000 in unreported currency …. through the Port of Nogales earlier this week.

Officers conducting outgoing operations at the Dennis DeConcini Crossing referred a 28-year-old Mexican national man for additional inspection of his Chevy SUV, as he attempted to enter Mexico through the port Monday afternoon. The search of the vehicle led to the discovery of several packages within the left quarter panel. The packages contained more than $142,000 in unreported U.S. currency.

Tuesday afternoon, officers conducting outbound operations at the Mariposa Crossing referred a 22-year-old Tucson woman for a further search of her Honda sedan, as she attempted to cross into Mexico through the port. Officers searched the subject, who had two bundles of unreported U.S. currency inside of her purse containing more than $20,000.

Officers seized the currency, … and vehicles, while the subjects were arrested and then turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

Note how the $143,000 was hidden in the quarter panel of the vehicle (i.e., a body panel); and then how the $20,000 seized from the 22 year old woman was just inside her purse.

In both cases, the failure to report the money, coupled with the fact it was not presented to CBP and was in plain view, will allow CBP to allege that the money was hidden with the intent it not be reported to CBP, which is considered bulk cash smuggling.

The story also states everyone was arrested, which is for me a little surprising in the case of the woman with $20,000. I have a lot of clients who do not report amounts cash at or above that level, and they do not get arrested or face criminal sanctions. That leads me to believe this money she seized had connections to illegal activity.

Have you had money seized by CBP?

If CBP 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.

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.


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.