$3 Million Found in ‘Largest Currency Seizure’ Ever in San Diego Sector; 2 Arrested: Border Patrol

In what was described as the largest cash seizure ever for the sector, two men were arrested in San Diego County last week after agents uncovered $3 million in two cars, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Friday.

$3 million in illicit currency was seized by Border Patrol agents on Aug. 23, 2016. (Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

$3 million in illicit currency was seized by
Border Patrol agents on Aug. 23, 2016. (Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

A Border Patrol agent conducted a traffic stop on a Kia Forte in Escondido Tuesday afternoon after following the car on Interstate 15 and found eight vacuum-sealed bundles containing nearly $34,000 in the central console, according to a news release from the agency.

A short time later, authorities spotted a Volkswagen Passat that was “driving in tandem” with the Kia and sped off during the traffic stop, the release stated.

Agents searched the car, which was abandoned in a residential area, and discovered more than $3 million inside, according to the release.

The cash, found in the trunk, had been stashed inside eight boxes.

Two men were arrested in connection with the incident, the release said. Their names have not been released.

Both face charges of currency smuggling and have been turned over to Homeland Security Investigation, according to the agency.

“This amount of money represents the largest currency seizure ever in San Diego Sector,” Chief Patrol Agent Richard A. Barlow said in the release.  “The hard work and perseverance demonstrated by the involved agents was essential for this outcome.”