LPR Indicted for Smuggling More than $1 Million
McALLEN, Texas – A 50-year old resident of Hidalgo has been charged with bulk cash smuggling, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
A federal grand jury has returned an indictment against legal permanent resident Alberto Hernandez Gallegos Feb. 12, 2019. He was originally charged by criminal complaint Jan. 26, 2019, and has remained in custody since that time. He is expected to make his appearance on the indictment before U.S. Magistrate Judge Juan Alanis at 8:30 a.m. today.
The indictment alleges that on Jan. 25, 2019, Gallegos attempted to exit the United States via vehicle at the Hidalgo Port of Entry. Customs and Border Protections Officers (CBP) conducted an outbound inspection which allegedly led to the discovery of approximately $1,081,375.00 in bulk U.S. currency concealed in a speaker box in the trunk of the vehicle.
The charges allege Gallegos was aware of the currency in the vehicle but not the total amount. He allegedly planned to smuggle the currency for others in return for $1000.
It is not a crime to carry more than $10,000, but it is a federal offense not to declare currency or monetary instruments totaling $10,000 or more to a CBP officer upon entry or exit from the U.S. or to conceal it with intent to evade reporting requirements.
If convicted, Gallegos faces up to five years in federal prison along with a possible $250,000 fine. Gallegos could also lose his status as an LPR.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation along with CBP. Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Henning 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.