Calexico, California - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Calexico downtown port of entry Wednesday discovered more than $457,000 in unreported U.S. currency in a vehicle bound for Mexico.
The incident occurred shortly before 4 p.m. when CBP officers were conducting southbound inspections of travelers heading to Mexico through the Calexico downtown border crossing. Officers targeted a 2005 Nissan Maxima and referred the driver, her female passenger, and vehicle for a more in-depth examination.
Officers utilized the port’s imaging system and discovered anomalies within merchandise stored in the Maxima’s trunk. A CBP detector dog alerted to the trunk, and officers discovered several wrapped bundles of U.S. currency concealed inside a box of diapers, a box of trash bags, and a five-gallon bucket of paint that were loaded inside. Officers extracted 46 packages of cash from the vehicle’s trunk, yielding a total amount of $457,373.
The 45-year-old driver and 21-year-old passenger, both U.S. citizens and residents of Los Angeles, were turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations agents for further processing.
CBP seized the vehicle and currency.
It is a federal offense not to declare currency or monetary instruments totaling more than $10,000 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.