El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents seized more than $746,000 in undeclared currency.
At approximately 7:38 p.m., an SUV approached the Highway 86 immigration checkpoint. The agent inspecting vehicles in the primary lanes noticed the driver’s erratic behavior and referred the vehicle to secondary inspection.
A Border Patrol K-9 detection team alerted to the rear of the vehicle. Border Patrol K-9s are trained to detect the odors of concealed humans, controlled substances, firearms, and U.S. currency. Agents inspected the interior/exterior of the vehicle and discovered a large black duffle bag containing large amounts of currency inside. The driver, the only occupant of the vehicle, was placed under arrest and held at the checkpoint for further investigation.
The driver, a 29-year-old woman, was in possession of $746,050 and is being suspected of transporting or smuggling bulk currency derived from illicit activities.
The driver, bulk currency, and vehicle were turned over to Homeland Security Investigations.
“Another noteworthy seizure by Indio Station agents,” said El Centro Chief Patrol Agent Gregory Bovino. “The El Centro Sector is a very unfavorable environment for drug traffickers, and any criminals for that matter, and I’d advise potential law breakers to give our professional agents a wide berth.”