BUFFALO, N.Y. – A Canadian truck driver has been arrested and charged by criminal complaint with bulk cash smuggling after attempting to cross the border with more than $200,000, U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced Thursday.
The charge against Mhamood Fadl Salih Khairi, 28, of St. Catherines, Ont., carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
Khairi was arrested July 15 when he tried to enter Canada at the Lewiston Bridge Port of Entry, U.S. Attorney’s Office for Western District of New York said.
He was returning to Mississauga, Ont., from the Boston, Mass., area with a load of copper wire.
The Attorney’s Office said when asked how much money he was traveling with, the defendant responded “$300 total U.S. and Canadian.” Khairi also indicated on a customs declaration form that he was not carrying over $10,000.
Subsequently, a CBP K-9 narcotics dog ran the truck for the presence of illegal narcotics. It then alerted officers to the presence of drugs in the vehicle, sparking a secondary inspection.
“During a manual inspection of the vehicle’s cab as well as the trailer, CBP officers located a large white and green gift bag. Inside were 10 vacuum sealed bundles of cash, totaling $207,500 in United States currency,” the Attorney’s Office said.
The defendant made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Roemer, and is being detained.
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