United States Flag
Official Website of the Department of Homeland Security

Report Crimes: Email or Call 1-866-DHS-2-ICE

Contraband
04/14/2009

Mexican man charged with attempting to smuggle $1 million into Mexico

Undeclared U.S. currency was hidden under the sleeper cab of a tractor trailer

LAREDO, Texas - A Mexican man was charged Monday with attempting to smuggle $1 million into Mexico from the United States. The charges were announced by acting U.S. Attorney Tim Johnson, Southern District of Texas. The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) based on a seizure made by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Jose Luis Martinez-Gonzalez, 26, a Mexican citizen from Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, was arrested by ICE agents in Laredo Saturday at the World Trade Bridge No. 4. A criminal complaint filed in federal court Monday charged Martinez-Gonzales with failing to file a currency transport report and evading currency reporting requirements.

According to the criminal complaint, CBP officers were conducting outbound vehicle inspections when a detection dog signaled the possible presence of contraband in a tractor-trailer driven by Martinez-Gonzalez. A secondary inspection resulted in the discovery of anomalies in the cab area of the tractor under the sleeper. There CBP officers discovered 18 vacuum-sealed, clear plastic bundles containing U.S. currency in the amount of $1,000,035. Martinez-Gonzalez allegedly failed to file a Report of International Transportation of Currency or Monetary Instruments and evaded currency reporting requirements.

Martinez-Gonzalez was ordered held in custody without bond pending a preliminary examination and detention hearing scheduled for April 20.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Sardelli.