TUCSON– U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations, officers arrested 2 Mexican nationals and a U.S. citizen for separate alleged attempts to smuggle nearly $163,000 in unreported currency as well as a pair of tactical weapons through the Port of Nogales.
Officers conducting outgoing operations at the Dennis DeConcini Crossing referred a 28-year-old Mexican national man for additional inspection of his Chevy SUV, as he attempted to enter Mexico through the port in the afternoon. The search of the vehicle led to the discovery of several packages within the left quarter panel. The packages contained more than $142,000 in unreported U.S. currency.
Officers conducting outbound operations at the Mariposa Crossing referred a 22-year-old Tucson woman for a further search of her Honda sedan, as she attempted to cross into Mexico through the port. Officers searched the subject, who had two bundles of unreported U.S. currency inside of her purse containing more than $20,000.
Earlier, officers conducting outbound operations at the Mariposa Crossing referred a 27-year-old Mexican national man of Tucson, for an additional search of his Chrysler sedan, as he attempted to cross into Mexico through the port. The search led to the discovery of two AK-47 rifles and two empty 30-round magazines beneath the driver’s side floor mat.
Officers seized the currency, weapons and vehicles, while the subjects were arrested and then turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
Federal law allows officers to charge individuals by complaint, a method that allows the filing of charges for criminal activity without inferring guilt. An individual is presumed innocent unless and until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
CBP’s Office of Field Operations is the primary organization within Homeland Security tasked with an anti-terrorism mission at our nation’s ports. CBP officers screen all people, vehicles and goods entering the United States while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel. Their mission also includes carrying out border-related duties, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration and trade laws, and protecting the nation’s food and agriculture industry from pests and diseases.