HIDALGO, Texas — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Hidalgo International Bridge in Texas intercepted $715,010 of unreported U.S. currency in a commercial bus attempting to enter into Mexico, the agency announced today.
The seizure occurred on September 24, 2019, when, CBP officers conducting outbound operations, 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," read a statement from CBP. "The currency denominations included $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100, with the majority being $20 bills."
Although it is not a crime to carry more than $10,00, it is a federal offense not to declare currency or monetary instruments totaling $10,000 or more to CBP officers upon entry or exit from the United Stated, or to conceal it with intent to evade reporting requirements.
“This seizure certainly ranks amongst the most notable currency interceptions accomplished by the Hidalgo Port of Entry,” stated 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.”
The CBP seized the currency and the commercial bus. The investigation remains ongoing by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents.
On September 20, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations (AMO) Marine Interdiction agents (MIA) seized approximately $800,000 from a 25-foot vessel traveling from Puerto Rico to the U.S. Virgin Islands. An additional $1.1 million was seized from a vessel on September 17, 2019.
In June 2019, $700,000 was seized during a South Texas traffic stop and, in January, $1 million in cash and $3 million in meth and cocaine was seized in separate incidents at the Rio Grande Valley International Bridges during a 35-day period.