After border patrol agents in Puerto Rico chased after a boat on Sunday, they found five duffel bags stuffed with $3.7 million in cash.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents, along with the DEA, made the seizure after tracking the vessel that was traveling without lights from Puerto Rico to the U.S. Virgin Islands.
As authorities followed the boat, it made an abrupt turn back toward Fajardo, on the east coast of Puerto Rico, and landed near the Rio Fajardo.
Occupants in the vessel could be seen unloading bags, according to the press release. As agents closed in, they fled the scene.
#AMO and #BorderPatrol agents collaborated with DEA agents to seize $3.7M in undeclared currency found aboard an abandoned vessel near the coast of Fajardo, PR, on July 7. Details: https://t.co/hay9Qu7P1i pic.twitter.com/uP0xSWtwjZ
— CBP (@CBP) July 9, 2019
“We remain committed to working with other federal and local law enforcement partners to detect and deter smuggling attempts throughout the Caribbean,” Johnny Morales, director of air and marine operations for the Caribbean Air and Marine Branch, said in a statement Monday.
Inside the boat, the duffel bags full of cash were recovered along with a loaded pistol and 63 rounds of ammunition.
“CBP seized the currency under failure to declare and bulk cash smuggling laws,” stated the press release.
On July 3, President Donald Trump retweeted a post by the CBP South Texas, indicating that they seized $4.1 million worth of methamphetamine and cocaine at Laredo Port of Entry.
“CBP officers seized alleged cocaine and crystal methamphetamine worth more than $4 million in Texas last weekend,” reads The White House statement. “The drug seizures came as part of two operations at the Gateway to the Americas International Bridge that connects Mexico and America.”
— CBP South Texas (@CBPSouthTexas) July 3, 2019
33 Migrants in Locked 100-Degree Trailer
A truck driver is facing charges after federal authorities say he attempted to smuggle 33 migrants into the United States via a trailer through the Arizona desert.
A search found the trailer filled with Mexican produce, along with hidden Mexican and El Salvadorean nationals, without fresh air or a cooling system. The group included 12 juveniles aged 3 to 17, a pregnant woman, and a convicted felon, reported U.S. Customs an Border Protection (CPB).
— ABC15 Arizona (@abc15) July 4, 2019
President Trump commented on the precarious event: “Democrats must change the Loophole & Asylum Laws—but they probably won’t! They want Open Borders, which means massive crime and drugs!”
Democrats must change the Loophole & Asylum Laws – but they probably won’t! They want Open Borders, which means massive crime and drugs! https://t.co/IWxH16arMW
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 6, 2019
It was tremendously hot inside the trailer―nearly 100 degrees F, posing imminent danger to the occupants, who had no way to exit, since the doors were locked.
The White House Twitter account shared the story along with an X-Ray photo.
“Last night, 12 children, a pregnant woman, a convicted felon, & 19 illegal aliens were found locked in a produce truck at a checkpoint. The driver, charged with human smuggling, kept the refrigeration off, so they were trapped inside where it was over 97 degrees with no way out.” The White House wrote on Twitter, and at the same time, praised and gave thanks to the Border Patrol agents who caught them.
“THANK YOU to our heroic Border Patrol agents, whose vigilance caught this smuggler and potentially saved lives!” read the post.
THANK YOU to our heroic Border Patrol agents, whose vigilance caught this smuggler and potentially saved lives! pic.twitter.com/uvKQzBFPR1
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) July 3, 2019
The 33 people were taken into custody by Border Patrol and will be processed for immigration violations.
The CNN Wire and NTD News reporter Samuel Allegri contributed to this article.