April 13, 2009
ATTEMPT TO SMUGGLE MORE THAN A MILION DOLLARS INTO MEXICO FOILED
(LAREDO, Texas) – A 26-year-old Mexican national has been arrested and charged with attempting to smuggle more than a million dollars from the United States into Mexico, acting United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today.
Jose Luis Martinez-Gonzalez, a Mexican citizen from Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, was arrested on April 11, 2009, at the World Trade Bridge No. 4 in Laredo for attempting to smuggle $1,000,035.00 into Mexico. A criminal complaint charging Martinez-Gonzales with failing to file and evading currency reporting requirements was filed today, Monday, April 13, 2009.
According to allegation contained in a criminal complaint filed with the federal court in Laredo on Monday, April 13, 2009, United States Customs and Border Protection officers (CBP) were conducting outbound vehicle inspections when Martinez-Gonzalez, the driver of a red Freightliner tractor hauling a white trailer, was referred to secondary inspection after a CBP detection dog alerted officers to the presence of weapons or currency within the vehicle. The secondary inspection resulted in the discovery of anomalies in the cab area of the tractor under the sleeper. Upon further inspection, CBP officers discovered 18 vacuum-sealed clear plastic bundles containing U.S. currency in the amount of $1,000,035.00. Martinez-Gonzalez had allegedly failed to file a Report of International Transportation of Currency or Monetary Instruments and evaded currency reporting requirements. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, who continued the investigation after the money was discovered, ultimately, arrested Martinez-Gonzalez.
Martinez-Gonzalez appeared before a U.S. Magistrate earlier today and has been ordered held in federal custody without bond pending a preliminary examination and detention hearing scheduled to occur on April 20, 2009, at 10:00 a.m.
Assistant United States Attorney Brian Sardelli is prosecuting the case.
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