Two Mexican nationals were arrested in separate weekend incidents for trying to smuggle more than $1.6 million in unreported U.S. currency into Mexico through Nogales ports of entry.
On Sunday morning, Customs and Border Protection officers conducting outbound inspections at the Dennis DeConcini Port referred Cosme Barcelo-Quijada, 56, a legal permanent resident alien who resides in Yuma, for further inspection.
During a search of Barcelo’s Toyota truck, a CBP dog detected currency hidden inside the dashboard and roof. The unreported cash totaled about $1.66 million. The money was seized.
On Saturday afternoon, officers at the Mariposa Port of Entry referred Jose Luis Verastica-Munoz, 34, of Nogales, Sonora, for further inspection of his Toyota sedan prior to heading into Mexico. After a CBP dog alerted to the presence of hidden currency, officers searched Verastica’s person and vehicle and found unreported cash from his waistband and the vehicle’s dashboard. The vehicle and $14,000 cash were seized.
Barcelo and Verastica were turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.