Oceanside, CA–U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a woman in the north county on Tuesday who had 37 bundles of U.S. currency stashed inside her vehicle.
At approximately 3 p.m., Border Patrol agents on Interstate 5 observed a suspicious vehicle near Oceanside. Initiating a stop, the agents questioned the 46-year-old female driver and requested permission to search her 2012 Toyota Prius. Searching the back-seat area, agents found dozens of cellophane-wrapped currency bundles concealed inside the doors.
Agents arrested the woman, who was a U.S. citizen, for suspicion of bulk currency smuggling. Both the vehicle and currency were seized. A later count of the currency amounted to $414,000. Homeland Security Investigations took custody of the woman and currency. The woman now faces criminal prosecution for currency smuggling. The vehicle was seized by USBP.
“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. Seizing illicit gains from these criminal enterprises is a tactic used to keep our country safe,” said San Diego Sector Border Patrol Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke.