(STL.News) – A 35-year-old resident of Mexico City, Mexico, has been ordered to prison for bulk cash smuggling, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
Jorge Alberto Ruiz-Periban pleaded guilty April 8, admitting he evaded a currency reporting requirement in his attempt to conceal $570,247 while trying to take the money into Mexico.
Today, U.S. District Judge Randy Crane handed Ruiz-Periban a 30-month sentence. As part of the terms of the plea agreement, the money will be forfeited to the United States. In handing down the sentence, the court noted the Ruiz-Periban’s employment as a horse trainer in Mexico and that he was likely recruited by the cartel to launder money. Not a U.S. citizen, he is expected to face removal proceedings following the sentence.
“Today’s sentencing of Ruiz-Periban demonstrates that bulk cash smuggling is a serious crime motivated by greed, which directly contributes to the cartel violence that damages communities on both sides of the border,” said Special Agent in Charge Shane Folden of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in San Antonio. “HSI will continue to utilize its broad investigative authorities to dismantle transnational criminal organizations who blatantly ignore the laws of this nation.”
On Jan. 8, Ruiz-Periban entered the southbound inspection lanes in a vehicle at the Anzalduas Port of Entry. Authorities referred him to secondary inspection, at which time he denied possession of $10,000 or more in U.S. currency. However, they located an abnormality in the spare tire of Ruiz-Periban’s vehicle and subsequently discovered $570,247 concealed in it.
At the time of his plea, Ruiz-Periban admitted he intended to evade the currency reporting requirement and intended to transport the money he hid in the tire from Mission to Mexico.
He has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
HSI conducted the investigation with Customs and Border Protection. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Redavid prosecuted the case.