McALLEN, TEXAS – A 36-year old resident of Edinburg has pleaded guilty to bulk cash smuggling, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
Sergio Guadalupe Sauceda-Saenz is a legal permanent resident (LPR) who was residing in Edinburg. On April 4, he attempted to leave the United States through the Hidalgo Port of entry in his vehicle. Authorities conducted an outbound inspection which led to the discovery of $571,497 in bulk U.S. currency in the spare tire.
Today, he admitted to evading currency reporting requirement by knowingly concealing more than $10,000 dollars. Sauceda-Saenz acknowledged knowing he was concealing the money and that it was illegal to transport the currency from the U.S. to Mexico unreported. As part of the plea agreement, he has agreed to forfeit his interest in the seized cash.
U.S. District Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa accepted the plea and set sentencing for Feb. 10, 2021. At that time Sauceda-Saenz faces up to five years in federal prison along with a possible $250,000 maximum fine. He could also lose his status as an LPR.
Sauceda-Saenz will remain in custody pending sentencing.
It is not a crime to carry more than $10,000, but it is a federal offense not to declare currency or monetary instruments totaling $10,000 or more to law enforcement upon entry or exit from the U.S. or to conceal it with intent to evade reporting requirements.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation along with Customs and Border Protection. Assistant U.S. Attorney Frances Blake Land is prosecuting the case.