CALEXICO – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Calexico downtown port of entry Wednesday arrested a man after discovering more than $410,000 in unreported U.S. currency, hidden in the doors of the vehicle he was driving.
The incident occurred at about 7:15 a.m., on June 25, when CBP officers were conducting southbound inspections of travelers heading to Mexico through the Calexico border crossing. Officers targeted a 1998 Ford Expedition SUV and referred the driver and vehicle for a more in-depth examination.
Officers utilized the port’s imaging system and discovered anomalies within the Expedition’s rear doors. A CBP currency and firearms detector dog alerted to the area, leading officers to the discovery of several wrapped packages of U.S. currency concealed inside the rear doors of the vehicle.
Officers extracted a total of 14 packages containing $410,980 in cash from the SUV.
The driver, a 32-year-old U.S. citizen and resident of Los Angeles, was arrested and turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations agents for further processing. He was later transported to the Imperial County Jail to await criminal arraignment.
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.