Customs and Border Patrol officers seize more than $300,000 at Hidalgo Port of Entry
Customs and Border Protection officers prevented two men from smuggling more than $300,000 into Mexico on Wednesday.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and the Anti-Terrorism Contraband Enforcement Team referred a white 2003 Land Rover Discovery to second inspection when it attempted to exit the United States at the Hidalgo Port of Entry.
When officers searched the vehicle, they found 24 packages of U.S. currency hidden within the rear quarter panels of the vehicle, totaling $301,062.
During an interview with officials, the driver, identified as U.S. citizen Clemente Luera, "admitted he was hired by an unidentified male in Mexico to conceal and transport U.S. Currency into Mexico. Luera stated he would be compensated an unknown amount upon successfully returning to Mexico," according to the federal criminal complaint against him.
The passenger, identified as Mexican citizen Daniel Loera-Fernandez, denied involvement in the currency smuggling.
Both men were charged with intentionally concealing over $10,000 and attempting to transport said currency outside the United States.
Court records don't list an attorney for Luera or Loera-Fernandez, who remain in federal custody and couldn't be reached for comment.