Residents of the Dominican Republic Charged with Bulk Cash Smuggling
Two residents of the Dominican Republic charged with bulk cash smuggling.
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Mark Selby, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), Miami Field Office, and Diane J. Sabatino, Director, Office of Field Operations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Miami Field Office, made the announcement.
Javier Enrique Santos Castillo, 42, and David Hernandez Guirola, 44, both of the Dominican Republic, were charged in a criminal complaint with conspiracy to commit bulk cash smuggling, in violation of Title 31, United States Code, Section 5332(a)(1) and Title 18, Untied States Code, Section 371. If convicted, the defendants face a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison and forfeiture of the seized cash. The defendants made their initial appearance yesterday, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patrick A. White, and are being held without bond pending further court proceedings.
On September 26, 2016, CBP Miami International Airport, Outbound Enforcement Team conducted routine examinations of international passengers boarding American Airlines flight 987, destined for Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Federal travel restrictions require passengers traveling abroad, from the United States to report if they are in possession of more than $10,000 in cash. During CBP questioning, passenger Santos Castillo advised he was carrying approximately $1,000. A preliminary search of Santos Castillo’s outer garment of clothing revealed that he was carrying more than the amount disclosed, as he was in possession of eight envelopes, each estimated to contain $5,000 to $10,000. Santos Castillo advised CBP officers that he was carrying the money for a friend, Hernandez Guirola, who when questioned, confirmed the same. The investigation revealed that Hernandez Guirola was traveling domestically to LaGuardia Airport, in New York and had Santos Castillo traveling to the Dominican Republic with the discovered cash. Further examination revealed a total of 17 envelopes in Santos Castillo’s clothing, containing $69,000. An examination of Santos Castillo’s carry-on luggage revealed an additional 13 envelopes, containing $122,340. CBP seized a total of $191,340.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigation efforts of ICE-HSI and CBP. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Gregory Schiller.
A complaint is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.