Hidalgo customs officers find $277,000 inside stuffed animals
Thu, 03 Mar 2011 00:17:19 GMT —
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.