Agents Seize $1M Cash in California Traffic Stop near Border
San Diego Sector Border Patrol agents seized nearly $1 million in U.S. currency during a traffic stop on Interstate 15. The seizure followed an alert from a K-9 to an odor coming from the gas tank.
Agents working their patrol area near the California/Mexico border on the morning of August 5 stopped a Volkswagen Touareg headed south on Interstate 15 in Escondido, California. During an initial interview, the agents identified the driver as a Mexican national, according to information obtained from San Diego Sector Border Patrol agents.
While one agent conducted the immigration interview, a second agent with a K-9 conducted a walk-around inspection of the SUV. The K-9 alerted to an odor it is trained to detect coming from the gas tank area of the vehicle, officials stated.
The agents conducted a physical search of the vehicle and discovered 65 packages of plastic-wrapped U.S. currency. The agents removed the currency and placed the driver under arrest.
A count revealed the 65 bundles contained $967,460 in cash, officials reported. Border Patrol officials seized the Touareg and the currency. The agents turned the driver over to U.S> Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations special agents for further investigation into the suspected smuggling operation.
“The U.S. Border Patrol works tirelessly to protect the Homeland from transnational criminal organizations- the same criminal enterprises that poison our communities with narcotics and smuggle human beings like cargo.,” Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke said in a written statement. “Seizing illicit gains from these criminal enterprises is one of the tactics the USBP uses to keep our country safe.”
Officials did not report the immigration status of the Mexican national driver.
Another Border Patrol K-9 alert led to the seizure of more than $110,000 at an interior immigration checkpoint located 80 miles north of the Texas/Mexico border, Breitbart Texas reported in July.
Agents assigned to the Falfurrias Immigration Checkpoint located in Brooks County, Texas, on U.S. Highway 281 observed a Dodge pickup truck approaching for inspection. A Border Patrol K-9 alerted to an odor, according to Rio Grande Valley Sector officials.
The agents referred the driver to a secondary inspection station where they conducted a physical search of the truck. The search uncovered several black taped packages hidden in a compartment, officials stated.
The agents opened the packages and found a large collection of U.S. currency. A count set the value at more than $110,000, officials reported.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.