Jan 25, 2012

Drug War Money Laundering: Bus passengers get prison in Texas cash smuggling case

Another inventive attempt to smuggle money across the border. 

Reuters: "A federal judge sentenced a busload of passengers to prison terms of up to three years for their role in a foiled smuggling operation to ferry more than $3.1 million in cash into Mexico, U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson said on Tuesday.

The sentences came after federal agents stopped a southbound commercial bus at the Hidalgo, Texas international bridge, about 240 miles south of San Antonio, in September 2010. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers searched 17 pieces of luggage on the bus and found cash stuffed inside deflated Coleman air mattresses packed in each bag, a criminal complaint said. Agents seized $3.19 million in cash from the bags and arrested all 13 passengers aboard the bus.

The passengers all admitted to their role in the smuggling ring, saying they were recruited to move the cash into Mexico. They expected to be paid as much as $8,000 to courier the currency across the border." read more

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