Hidalgo customs officers find $277,000 inside stuffed animals

CBP Photo

A Nuevo Leon woman is behind bars after authorities found more than $277,000 dollars hidden inside stuffed animals she received in McAllen.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers arrested 33-year-old Jeanette Irazema Barraza-Galindo on federal bulk cash smuggling charges around 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Court records released on Wednesday show that Barraza-Galindo was a passenger aboard a Panamericanas bus headed into Mexico at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge.

The passengers of the bus were asked to go through a southbound inspection where customs officers found pillows and stuffed animals belonging to Barazza-Galindo.

Customs officers found $277,556 dollars in cash inside them.

Court records show that Barraza-Galindo provided conflicting stories but maintained she got the stuffed animals in McAllen and was taking back to someone in Monterrey.

Barazza-Galindo appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Peter Ormsby in McAllen on Wednesday morning.

Investigators said Barazza-Galindo is a Mexican national from Guadalupe, Nuevo Leon who had a visa to cross into the United States.

Judge Ormsby denied bond for Barraza-Galindo until a Monday morning hearing.