LAREDO, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized a significant amount of alleged crystal methamphetamine with a value of more than $1,000,000 and unreported currency during two enforcement actions.
“CBP officers not only ensure that inbound travelers and cargo comply with U.S. laws and regulations but also conduct outbound examinations to safeguard the revenue of the U.S. and protect against unreported exportations of bulk U.S. currency, which often can be proceeds from alleged illicit activity,” said Port Director Gregory Alvarez, Laredo Port of Entry. “These were excellent interceptions by our CBP officers and serve as a great example to illustrate the layered enforcement implemented by CBP.”
The first seizure occurred on Wednesday, Sept. 20 at Colombia-Solidarity International Bridge when a CBP officer referred a 2017 Freightliner tractor trailer driven by a 42-year-old male Mexican citizen from Mexico for a secondary examination. Upon a canine and non-intrusive inspection of the vehicle by CBP officers, a total of 12 packages containing a total of 50 pounds of alleged crystal methamphetamine were discovered. The crystal methamphetamine has an estimated street value of $1,007,943.
The last seizure occurred on Wednesday, Sep. 20 at the Juarez-Lincoln International Bridge when a CBP officer conducting outbound examinations referred a 2008 Buick Enclave for an intensive inspection. The vehicle was driven by a 42-year-old male Mexican citizen. A canine and non-intrusive inspection by CBP officers resulted in the discovery of 19 packages containing $90,367 in unreported U.S. currency.
CBP officers seized the vehicles, narcotics and currency. The drivers were arrested and the cases were turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) special agents for further investigation.
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.