MCALLEN, Texas — A Mexican national admitted guilt in federal court Wednesday to smuggling large amounts of currency across the U.S. border.
This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with the assistance from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Jorge Alberto Ruiz-Periban, from Mexico, entered his guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Randy Crane. As part of his plea agreement, Ruiz-Periban admitted he intended to evade the currency reporting requirement and intended to transport money he hid in a tire, on a trip from Mission, Texas, to Mexico. As part of the terms of the agreement, he will forfeit $570,247 to the United States.
According to court documents, on Jan. 8, Ruiz-Periban entered the southbound inspection lanes in a vehicle at the Anzalduas Port of Entry. Authorities referred him to secondary inspection. During the inspection, when questioned, he denied possession of $10,000 or more in U.S. currency. However, authorities located an abnormality in the spare tire of his vehicle and subsequently discovered the money concealed within.
His sentencing has been set for June 16. Ruiz-Periban faces up to five years in prison and a maximum $250,000 possible fine.
He remains in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending that hearing.
Assistant U.S. Attorney, Matthew Redavid, Southern District of Texas, is prosecuting the case.