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Border Patrol Agents Seize $1.5 Mil+ in Cash Near San Clemente

Foreign nationals were allegedly at the wheel in two separate incidents.

Border Patrol agents found more than $1.5 million in two separate incidents this weekend at the San Clemente checkpoint. Courtesy the U.S. Border Patrol
Border Patrol agents found more than $1.5 million in two separate incidents this weekend at the San Clemente checkpoint. Courtesy the U.S. Border Patrol

U.S. Border Patrol agents found bundles of cash totaling more than $1.5 million near the San Clemente checkpoint in two recent incidents, officials reported today.

In both instances, authorities arrested two foreign nationals.

The first event occurred 4:30 Friday afternoon. A Uzbekistan national but U.S. resident drove through with commercial truck hauling five used cars on a trailer, according to a press release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The 27-year-old was referred to a secondary checkpoint, where dogs alerted authorities to contraband, the release states.

“California Army National Guard members, operating an X-ray system, detected anomalies in two Acura MDXs. Agents searched those vehicles and discovered false compartments in their rear bumpers,” according to the press release.

Inside were 49 bundles of cash, containing an approximate total of $1,476,245 in U.S. currency, according to the Border Patrol.  The agency seized the cash and two Acuras.

The second incident occurred Sunday afternoon outside the checkpoint. Agents were patrolling the I-5 Freeway when they stopped a 39-year-old Mexican national driver holding a valid visa, officials said.

Receiving the driver’s permission to search his vehicle, agents discovered agents $49,900 inside a black bag and inside the man’s jacket.  An additional $10,000 was in the man’s pockets.

“When questioned, the man stated that the $10,000 was his, but he did not have a receipt of declaration for bringing the money into the U.S.,” according to the release. “He claimed that the other $49,900 did not belong to him and that he did not want to be associated with it.”

The driver is being held in Department of Homeland Security custody with removal proceedings pending.  The vehicle and cash were seized by the U.S. Border Patrol. 

Annie G. January 28, 2014 at 01:14 PM
give it to me, i'll associate with it. legalize pot already geeezz
Brenda January 29, 2014 at 02:41 AM
LOL Annie. Give it to some elderly homeless in the way of food coupons and warm clothes :)
sailbyme January 29, 2014 at 08:08 PM
Has anyone seen my $1,476,245?
Eileen G. January 30, 2014 at 11:37 AM
Wow! to think that that car or truck you're passing on the freeway could be loaded with money.
Penny Arévalo (Editor) January 30, 2014 at 11:38 AM
and yet it never crashes and rains money on us, just like in the movies.
Dan Avery January 30, 2014 at 07:44 PM
I dig Annie G. And, Penny, I wish it would rain money like in the movies. Preferably non-sequential bills of various denominations.

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