Fugitive From Justice Attempted to Leave the U.S. at the Champlain Port of Entry with $230,000 in Unreported Currency

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Champlain Port of Entry encountered a traveler with more than $230,000 in undeclared currency and a warrant out of New Jersey.

On August 25, CBP officers encountered a 46-year-old United States citizen traveling north to Canada during an outbound operation. The traveler was asked if they had any currency to declare over $10,000. The traveler responded with declaring $15,000, which would require them to fill out proper paperwork declaring any amount of currency over $10,000. During a subsequent search of the vehicle, a total of over $230,000 was discovered in multiple locations. The undeclared currency was a mix of U.S., Euro, Guinea, Peru, Kuwait, and Swiss funds.

More than $230,000 in undeclared currency discovered by CBP officers at the Champlain, N.Y. Port of Entry.
More than $230,000 in undeclared currency discovered by CBP officers at the Champlain, N.Y. Port of Entry.

Additional investigative steps performed during the secondary inspection revealed that the driver had an active National Crime Information Center (NCIC) warrant out of Jersey City, New Jersey for a weapons charge.

“This seizure illustrates the importance of travelers complying with all U.S. laws, including federal currency reporting regulations, and highlights the consequences of noncompliance,” said Area Port Director Steve Bronson.  “Currency seizures are a direct reflection of CBP’s continued commitment to enforce all U.S. laws at our nation’s borders.”

It is not against the law to carry large amounts of currency in or out of the United States. Arriving or departing travelers may carry as much currency as they wish.  However, federal law requires that travelers who possess $10,000 or more in currency or other monetary instruments to declare this to a CBP officer at the airport, seaport, or land border crossing where they enter or leave the country. The undeclared currency was seized pursuant to Title 31 – U.S. Code Section 5317 for violation of Title 31 – U.S. Code 5316, failing to declare over $10,000 in currency or monetary instruments.