Mexican National Smuggling $1.6 Million Over the Border Discovers Dogs Can Smell Cash

Today in Found at the Border: A Mexican national trying to smuggle more than $1.6 million out of the United States discovered that dogs can be trained to sniff out cash.

Cosme Barcelo-Quijada, a 56-year-old with permanent resident status who lives in Yuma, broke the record for the most cash seized in an Arizona smuggling attempt, and is now short exactly $1,660,210, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

See also:
-Man Busted Smuggling $100,000 Out of U.S. Either Lied or Is Bad at Counting
-Mexican National Tries, and Fails, to Hide 3,000 Pounds of Weed in Cans of Jalapeños
-Agents Find Heroin Stuffed in a Guy's Belly Button
-Bell Peppers Will Not Disguise 2,000 Pounds of Weed

According to a federal complaint, Barcelo-Quijada was driving into Mexico through the port in Nogales with the cash concealed in a Toyota Tundra pickup.

The U.S. currency was found in a custom-fabricated compartment on the roof of the truck, as well as in the area between the dashboard and the firewall.

Barcelo-Quijada didn't declare any amount of cash over $10,000 while attempting to cross the border, according to the complaint.

Federal court filings don't indicate where authorities believe the money came from, or was going to, but Barcelo-Quijada faces a federal charge of bulk cash smuggling.

Later on Sunday afternoon, CBP made a less-impressive cash bust, as the agency says 34-year-old Nogales, Sonora, resident Jose Luis Verastica-Muno, who was also headed into Mexico, was found with $14,000 cash in his waistband and dashboard.

Both alleged smugglers' vehicles were seized, in addition to the cash.

Send feedback and tips to the author.
Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley