A woman from California who allegedly tried to carry more than $114,000 into Mexico via taxicab faces federal cash smuggling charges. The woman reportedly hid the cash inside her purse and jacket.
This week, a federal grand jury handed down an indictment against 26-year-old Rosa Maria Zuniga Sagrero, a woman from California who was residing in Atlanta, Georgia, at the time. The criminal indictment formally charges Zuniga with one count of bulk cash smuggling. While U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Scott Hacker had scheduled an arraignment for Wednesday, Zuniga waived the hearing and filed a plea of not guilty. The woman has been free on a $50,000 bond since early May.
The case began on April 24 when Zuniga Sagrero tried to cross-ride a taxi through the Hidalgo Port of Entry from Texas, a criminal complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office revealed. There, Customs and Border Protection Officers sent the cab for a secondary inspection. When questioned, Zuniga Sagrero denied carrying any firearms, ammunition, or currency over $10,000. However, CBP officers searched the woman and found three bundles of cash reportedly totaling $114,294.
Cash smuggling is common in border cities where cartels recruit individuals to move their proceeds. Federal law requires individuals to disclose if they travel out of the U.S. with more than $10,000.
Luisana Moreno is a contributing writer for Breitbart Texas.