$95,755 found inside of shampoo bottlesPosted on October 9, 2007
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers at the Laredo Port of Entry find $95,755.00 in undeclared currency on a commercial bus passenger that nets one arrest.
The seizure occurred on Tuesday, October 9, 2007; CBP officers at the Lincoln-Juarez Bridge were conducting outbound (southbound) inspections shortly after 5:00 p.m. and referred a commercial bus with passengers that were attempting to exit into Mexico for secondary examination. During the examination, CBP officers boarded the commercial bus and obtained a binding negative declaration for firearms, ammunition, and monetary instruments in excess of $10,000 from all the passengers on board. As the examination of all the passengers continued, CBP officers detected discrepancies with a passenger's mode of clothing and an abnormal bulge in his mid-section.
Upon further examination, CBP officers discovered that the passenger, Leopoldo Mojica-Gonzalez, a 50-year-old U.S. permanent resident from Denver, Colorado had several bundles of undeclared U.S. currency strapped to his body's mid-section and several more bundles attached to the waistband of his trousers. A closer visual inspection of the man's carry-on luggage further revealed more undeclared currency within the luggage, a jacket and in black electrical tape-wrapped pellets inside shampoo bottles.
CBP officers discovered a total of $95,755 in unreported currency. CBP officers arrested the passenger, Mojica-Gonzalez on federal bulk cash smuggling charges and turned him over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Special Agents who investigated the seizure.
"We are fortunate to have some of the most detail-oriented, ever-watchful officers at our ports. Little, if anything escapes their senses no matter how crafty criminals are, our officers are always watching. Their dedicated enforcement efforts continue to amaze me." said Gene Garza, CBP Port Director, Laredo.
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.
Source: U.S. Customs/Border Patrol