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July 21, 2022Eagle Pass, TX, United StatesFinancial Crimes

More than $188K shared with Southwest Texas Sheriff’s Offices after HSI, federal partner investigation

On July 21, HSI Eagle Pass presented two separate asset sharing checks for than $94k to both Maverick and Dimmitt County Sheriff’s Offices. The funds shared were forfeited from two bulk cash currency seizures. Photographed left to right: Maverick County Sheriff TFO Mario Garza, Dimmit County Sheriff Robert Mendoza, HSI ASAC Jose R. Silva, Maverick County Sheriff Tom Schmerber, CBP (A) Eagle Pass Port Director Elizabeth Garduño, CBP Assistant Port Director Luis Beattie, CBP Chief of Staff Mavy Segura, CBP Chief Luis Rodriguez and HSI Group Supervisor Raul Nava.

EAGLE PASS, Texas - As part of a federal asset sharing program, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) distributed $188,738.70 in funds forfeited from bulk cash seized to Maverick County and Dimmit County Sheriff’s Department July 21. Each of the offices will receive more than $94,000 that will help them continue to do work in local communities.

Alejandro Amaro, HSI acting special agent in charge, presented the poster-sized checks to Maverick and Dimmit County Sheriffs’ Departments.

“HSI is proud to recognize the key role that our local law enforcement partners play in bringing to justice transnational criminals and their networks,” said Amaro. “With asset-sharing like this, we are able to utilize the illegal profits from the criminal networks to help recuperate expenses for local law enforcement and to ease the burden on our communities."

The forfeitures are the result of two separate seizures that occurred Feb. 13, 2021, and March 10, 2021, during outbound inspections conducted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers assigned to the Eagle Pass Port of Entry. HSI arrested an individual in each case, and each was charged with illegal export contrary to law. Both defendants were prosecuted and convicted. Both defendants are scheduled to be sentenced before the end of the year.

The funds are divided among participating agencies as part of ICE’s asset-sharing agreement. The forfeited funds are distributed to local law enforcement agencies to financially support the expensive work of fighting crime and keeping the streets of South Texas safe.

Asset Sharing Program

Individuals and organizations involved in the myriad of criminal conduct, for which ICE has been charged with combating, are oftentimes involved for one reason only – commercial advantage and/or financial gain – in other words, to make money. Whether utilized in the fight against human smuggling, narcotics, weapons, or contraband smuggling, financial crime, commercial fraud and intellectual property rights violations, asset forfeiture has proven to be a powerful tool in combating criminal activity and other violations that threaten national security.

The ICE Asset Forfeiture Program exemplifies ICE’s efforts in identification, seizure and forfeiture of assets that represent the proceeds of, and/or were used to facilitate federal violations under the investigative jurisdiction of ICE. The program adheres to the core belief that the consistent, and strategic, application of asset forfeiture laws is used to disrupt and dismantle the financial infrastructure of criminal enterprises and other national security threats. Asset Forfeiture is an essential element of comprehensive and effective law enforcement. Accordingly, ICE brings to bear considerable authority, expertise, and resources in asset forfeiture. The forfeiture of assets can be and is utilized as a sanction in criminal, civil and administrative investigative activities.

To report suspicious activity, call ICE's 24-hour toll-free hotline at: 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or visit https://www.ice.gov.

HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 6,800 special agents assigned to 225 cities throughout the United States, and 86 overseas locations in 55 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

Updated: 08/24/2022