A woman accused of smuggling cash claims she didn’t know her truck had a hidden compartment or that it contained $140,038, a federal court document shows.
Esbeydi Borja-Borja, 39, of Mexico, has been in custody since her arrest in a traffic stop on Interstate 10. A Harrison County deputy stopped her 2006 Lincoln Mark LT on May 19, claiming her license plate was obscured.
Court papers show the deputy received permission to search the truck after he noticed fresh paint, aftermarket sheet-metal screws and fabricated brackets in the cab of the luxury pickup.
A search turned up 14 bundles of cash wrapped with duct tape, according to the sworn statement of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent.
The agent said Borja-Borja stated she had entered the U.S. at Edinburg, Texas, and picked up her three brothers for a trip to visit their grandmother in Atlanta. She said they were returning home when they were stopped at mile-marker 23.
The document alleges Borja-Borja claimed she has owned the truck for a year and had control of the vehicle the entire time it was in the country.
A records check by ICE showed Borja-Borja had permission to cross the border.