$1,061,860 in undeclared U.S. currency seized at DeConcini Port of Entryby Hugh Holub on Jun. 15, 2011, under border issues, customs and border protection, politics
Department of Homeland Security Media Update June 14, 2011:
Nogales CBP Officers Score Third Largest Currency Seizure Since 2007
Outbound enforcement operations yielding record results
TUCSON, Ariz. – Yesterday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers conducting outbound inspections at the Dennis DeConcini Port in Nogales, Ariz., seized more than $1 million in undeclared U.S. currency. The seizure was the third largest outbound cash seizure in Arizona since 2007.
The seizure occurred yesterday when CBP officers referred a mini-van for a secondary inspection after they observed discrepancies in the vehicle’s structure. Subsequently, a currency detection canine alerted to the vehicle. Further inspection of the vehicle revealed a non-factory compartment with 47 bundles of undeclared currency. The driver and passenger, both from Mexico, were taken into custody and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations for further investigation.
Acting Director of Field Operations, James Tong, credited CBP personnel for their dedication and said significant outbound cash seizures send a message to criminal organizations.
“This seizure demonstrates our diligence, passion and commitment to the work we perform,” he said. “Intercepting illicit funds during our outbound inspections has a direct effect on transnational criminal organizations operating in Mexico. It sends a clear message that we are here and we are working hard to defeat them.”
CBP officers conducting outbound operations at Arizona’s ports have seized more than $9.5 million Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 to date. So far the month of June has accounted for $2,056,709 of FY 2011 and more than $2 million (21 percent) was seized in Nogales.
Since launching the Southwest Border Initiative in March 2009, the ports within the Tucson Field Office area of responsibility have intercepted close to $20 million, and demonstrated an increase in currency seizures annually over the last two years. The current administration’s unprecedented efforts to bring focus and intensity to Southwest border security is evident in the successes demonstrated at the Arizona ports.
A criminal complaint is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Field Operations is responsible for securing our borders at the ports of entry. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers’ primary mission is anti-terrorism; they screen all people, vehicles, and goods entering the United States, while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel into and out of the United States. Their mission also includes carrying out traditional border-related responsibilities, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration law, protecting the nation’s food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases, and enforcing trade laws.
- CBP -
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control, and protection of our Nation’s borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.
Other US Customs and Border Protection News:
TUCSON, Ariz. — The following is a snapshot of certain Department of Homeland Security activities along the Southwest border. This rundown provides a thumbnail of each incident.
Joint Field Command Statistics – Yesterday in Arizona (June 13, 2011)
(Narcotics weights are measured in pounds)
Marijuana seized 2,193
Cocaine seized 63
Outbound currency seized $1,079,860
Individuals presented in federal court for prosecution* 150
Individuals prosecuted under Operation Streamline* 73
Individuals prosecuted on federal drug charges* 8
*These numbers only represent those apprehended by Border Patrol and presented for prosecution.
• On June 13, CBP officers working outbound inspection at the Dennis DeConcini Port referred a 26-year-old Mexican male driver and his 31-year-old Mexican female passenger for a secondary inspection. Subsequently, a currency detection canine alerted to the vehicle leading to the discovery of 47 packages containing a total of $1,061,860 in undeclared U.S. currency concealed within non-factory compartments in the vehicle. The cash was seized and the subjects were taken into custody and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for further investigation.
• On June 13, a 44-year-old Mexican male attempted to enter the United States through a Dennis DeConcini Port vehicle lane and was referred for a secondary inspection. Subsequently, a narcotics detection canine alerted to the rear wheel well of the vehicle. Further inspection led to the removal of 24 packages of cocaine. The narcotics, weighing more than 62 pounds with an estimated value of $570,115, were seized. The driver was taken into custody and turned over to ICE HSI for further investigation.
• On June 13, Nogales Rail Team CBP officers conducted a routine X-ray on a train that entered the United States from Mexico at the Dennis DeConcini Port. Subsequently, officers identified an anomaly inside a box car which led to the removal of a single bundle of marijuana. The narcotics weighed more than 22 pounds with an estimated value of $11,175.
• On June 13, CBP officers conducting outbound inspections at the Morley pedestrian gate in Nogales, Ariz., referred a 19-year-old United States citizen female for further inspection. During questioning, the subject gave conflicting statements regarding the amount of currency she was declaring. Subsequently, officers discovered $18,000 of undeclared U.S. currency taped to her body. The subject was taken into custody and turned over to ICE HSI for further investigation.
• On June 13, CBP officers working outbound inspections at the Douglas Port observed a truck with an ignition switch that appeared tampered with. Subsequently, a records check revealed the vehicle was stolen. The vehicle and driver were taken into custody and turned over to the Douglas Police.
• On June 13, an Ajo Station remote video surveillance operator reported suspected smuggling activity occurring in the Organ Pipe National Monument. Subsequently, a canine team responded and apprehended three illegal aliens from Mexico and seized six bundles of marijuana. The narcotics, weighing more than 283 pounds with an estimated value of $14,500, will be turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration. All subjects are being prosecuted on federal drug charges.
• On June 13, Willcox Border Patrol agents working at the State Highway 90 checkpoint referred a vehicle for a secondary inspection after a canine team alerted to the vehicle. Subsequently, agents opened the trunk and discovered two Mexican male illegal aliens hiding inside. The driver and passenger, both female U.S. citizens, are being prosecuted on alien smuggling charges.
• On June 13, a Nogales Station canine team alerted to a vehicle at the Interstate 19 Checkpoint and it was referred for a secondary inspection. Subsequently, agents conducted an X-ray scan of the vehicle which indicated an anomaly inside the trunk. Further inspection led to the discovery of two Mexican female illegal aliens hiding in the trunk. The driver, a U.S. citizen, is being prosecuted on alien smuggling charges.
In February, CBP announced the Arizona Joint Field Command (JFC)—an organizational realignment that brings together Border Patrol, Air and Marine, and Field Operations under a unified command structure to integrate CBP’s border security, commercial enforcement, and trade facilitation missions to more effectively meet the unique challenges faced in the Arizona area of operations.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) promotes homeland security and public safety through the criminal and civil enforcement of federal laws governing border control, customs, trade, and immigration. ICE and CBP collaborate in investigations regarding criminal organizations with a nexus to the border.
Since launching the Southwest Border Initiative in March 2009, the Obama administration has engaged in an unprecedented effort to bring focus and intensity to Southwest border security, coupled with a reinvigorated, smart and effective approach to enforcing immigration laws in the interior of our country.
– DHS —
COMMENT: If US Customs and Border Protection can seize enough drug money, they might be able to add some more Customs and Border Protection officers to staff the ports of entry.
More officers..more chances to seize drugs and drug money….