A 28-year-old woman whose father is the mayor of a municipality in Michoacán was detained in Texas Monday as she attempted to cross into Mexico with almost US $250,000 in cash and two firearms.
Yeishi Moriya Villaseñor, daughter of Tacámbaro Mayor Artemio Moriya Sánchez, was arrested by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at a crossing between Laredo, Texas, and Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas.
The officers “intercepted over $248,000 in unreported currency and two weapons in one outbound enforcement action at the Juárez-Lincoln Bridge,” CBP said in a statement.
“… The seizure occurred … when a CBP officer referred a 2022 Volkswagen Jetta bound for Mexico for a secondary inspection. Upon further physical examination of the vehicle and a canine examination, CBP officers discovered a total of $248,531 in unreported currency, a Colt 1911 .45-caliber handgun and a Glock 9mm handgun within the vehicle,” the statement said.
“The currency and weapons were seized. A 28-year-old female Mexican citizen vehicle passenger was turned over to Webb County Sheriff’s Office deputies for arrest on state currency and weapons charges.”
Moriya told authorities that she had been instructed to pick up the cash in Dallas and take it back to Michoacán. While traveling to Dallas with her boyfriend and two children, she received further instructions to go to an address in Dallas, where she left the car to get something to eat.
She said she was given $3,000 for transporting the money.
Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar said on Facebook that the woman was transported to the Webb County Jail in lieu of a $5,000 bond.
People carrying currency in excess of US $10,000 into or out of the U.S. are required to report the money to CBP.
The newspaper Reforma reported that Moriya had received instructions to pick up some cash in Dallas and take it back to Michoacán, a notoriously violent state where several criminal organizations operate.
Mayor Moriya, who represents the Morena party, hasn’t commented publicly on his daughter’s predicament. Tacámbaro, the municipality he governs, is located about 85 kilometers southwest of Morelia.