SAN DIEGO – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers were far from interested in candy or chocolates. Officers at the San Ysidro port of entry were on a roll as they seized a total of $39,071 of unreported currency, a firearm, and ammunition this Valentine’s Day.
The first incident happened early Feb. 14, at approximately 5:52 a.m. While conducting outbound enforcement inspections, CBP officers selected a 2014 Jeep traveling to Mexico for inspection. The vehicle was driven by a 42-year-old male United States citizen who was accompanied by a 31-year-old male United States citizen.
During initial inspection, CBP officers referred the vehicle for further examination. Upon inspection, officers discovered one 9mm handgun, two 9mm magazines, and 20 rounds of 9mm ammunition concealed within the vehicle.
The firearm, magazines, and ammunition were seized and CBP officers turned the driver and passenger over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations.
The second incident happened less than an hour later, at approximately 6:35 a.m. During another outbound enforcement inspection, CBP officers selected a 2022 Chevrolet traveling to Mexico for examination. The vehicle was driven by a 33-year-old United States citizen who was accompanied by a 55-year-old female United States citizen.
During initial inspection, subjects verbally reported to CBP officers that they possessed $6,900. Officers referred the vehicle and all occupants for further examination. During inspection, officers discovered a total of $17,903 of undeclared currency that were concealed within the vehicle.
Minutes after this discovery, at approximately 7:03 a.m., CBP officers were conducting another outbound inspection of a 2013 Cadillac Escalade being driven by a 54-year-old male United States citizen, who was also traveling to Mexico. Subject declared a total of $9,000 to CBP officers; however, upon further inspection, a total of $21,168 in unreported currency was found.
Both drivers and occupants were detained for the undeclared currency smuggling attempt. CBP officers turned the drivers over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations.
“We never know who or what we will encounter in the course of our duties. Our officers consistently demonstrate their commitment as they conduct inspections of inbound and outbound traffic to secure our borders and keep our communities safe,” said Sidney Aki, CBP Director of Field Operations in San Diego.
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.