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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ANGELA DODGE

March 23, 2011

PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER
(713) 567-9388

WOMAN CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTING TO SMUGGLE MORE THAN $277,000

(McALLEN, Texas) – Jeanette Irazema Barraza-Galindo, 33, of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, has been indicted on charges of bulk cash smuggling, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today. The one-count indictment was returned by a federal grand jury in McAllen yesterday.

The indictment is the result of the discovery and seizure of $277,556 on March 1, 2011, by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers aboard a bus heading outbound through the Hidalgo Port of Entry into Mexico. All passengers gave negative declaration for monetary instruments in excess of $10,000, firearms and ammunition. According to the allegations in a criminal complaint filed on March 2, 2011, upon entering the bus, CBP officers discovered U.S. currency totally $277,556 in throw pillows and two bags containing stuffed toy animals. Barraza-Galindo was identified as the alleged owner of the throw pillow and stuffed toys and subsequently arrested by CBP officers and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents.

Barraza has been in federal custody without bond pending further criminal proceedings since March 2, 2011, following the issuance of an order by U.S. Magistrate Judge Peter Ormsby. She will be arraigned on the charges on a date in the near future to be set by the court.

Bulk cash smuggling carries, upon conviction, a statutory maximum sentence of five years in federal prison without parole, a fine of up to $250,000 and a term of supervised release of up to three years. In addition, according to a forfeiture notice in the indictment, upon conviction, the entire $277,556 in cash that Barraza was allegedly smuggling could be forfeited to the U.S. government.

This case was investigated by CBP and HSI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Sully is prosecuting the case.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.

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