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Border agents intercept $300K in cartel cash headed for Mexico

December 22, 2016  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Border agents intercept $300K in cartel cash headed for Mexico

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Border agents in California intercepted close to $300,000 in “illicit cartel cash” from an alleged smuggler headed south of the border.

The apprehension occurred at approximately 10 a.m. on Monday when Border agents working at the San Clemente Border Patrol Station pulled over a Nissan Altima driving south on Interstate 5 near Oceanside. A K-9 agent signaled to the presence of suspicious elements in the trunk. A vehicle search by agents revealed a sealed 5-gallon bucket of paint.

According to a press release, the officers opened the bucket and found six vacuum-packed stacks of cash, which totaled $290,000. Officials allege that the money stems the illicit drug profits.

“This seizure is a product of the tremendous abilities of Border Patrol agents and canine assets to detect and interdict smuggling activity along the Interstate 5 corridor,” Thomas Blanks, the Patrol Agent in Charge, said in a written statement.

Border Patrol agents took the driver of the sedan in custody and turned him over to Homeland Security. Federal officials also confiscated the $290,000 and the Nissan Altima.

Back in August, Border Patrol agents in the San Diego Sector pulled over a Kia Forte on Interstate 15 and noticed a Volkswagen Passat that was trailing the Kia. The Passat sped away when agents stopped the driver of the Kia.

After finding over $33,000 concealed in the Kia, agents tracked down conducted a search of the Passat. The vehicle’s driver, a Mexican native, was hiding nearby. A search revealed $3,018,000 in cash, which is considered to be the largest cash seizure ever for this particular sector. The money was stored in several boxes in the trunk of the car.

“This amount of money represents the largest currency seizure ever in San Diego Sector,” Chief Patrol Agent, Richard A. Barlow, stated at the time. “The hard work and perseverance demonstrated by the agents was essential for this outcome.”

Both drivers were taken into custody, and the cash and cars were seized.

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