Californian charged with smuggling over $114,000 in taxi
McALLEN, Texas – A 26-year-old woman from California was residing in Atlanta, Georgia, has been indicted for smuggling cash into Mexico from the United States, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
Today, a federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment against Rosa Maria Zuniga-Sagrero. She is expected to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Scott Hacker for her arraignment in the near future.
According to the complaint originally filed in the case, Zuniga-Sagrero attempted to pass through a Border Patrol (BP) checkpoint while a passenger in a taxi.
Authorities referred the vehicle to secondary inspection, at which time she allegedly made a negative declaration for having in excess of $10,000. However, A search of Zuniga’s jacket pockets revealed three sealed packages and a total of $114,294 in her purse, according to the charges.
If convicted, Zuniga faces up to five years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.
Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with the assistance of Customs and Border Protection. Assistant U.S. Attorney Eliza Carmen Rodriguez 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.