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Border Patrol agents intercepted and seized a whopping $3 million in California


Border Patrol agents in California intercepted and seized a whopping $3 million in smuggled cash this week, according to CNN. 

In the past, the agency has seized much smaller amounts of cash. 

"This is one of our larger cash seizures," Ralph DeSio, spokesman for the San Diego office of US Customs and Border Protection, told CNN. 

Typically, Border Patrol agents report highly valued drug seizures. 

Currency smuggling and money laundering are what keeps Mexican drug cartels coming back across the U.S. border, according to CNN. 

If the gangs and traffickers can't get their millions of dollars back across the border, the U.S. market becomes far less attractive. 

Desio told CNN, although Los Angeles is known as the nation's "epicenter" for money laundering by international drug cartels, San Diego is a major hub for trafficking the proceeds. 

The $3 million that was seized this week was found in a Volkswagen Passat, a car not as likely to attract unwanted attention.

According to CNN, San Diego Border Patrol agents stopped some of the cash flow Tuesday after they arrested two men just north of San Diego and approximately 40 miles from the Mexican border. 

An agent stopped a Kia Forte and found nearly $34,000 in the console. The agency arrested a 53-year-old American in connection with that smuggling case. 

This Aug. 26, 2016 photo provided by the U.S. Border Patrol shows some of more than $3 million in cash that two men were trying to smuggle into Mexico from California. The agency says its agents tracked and stopped a Kia Forte in Escondido, Calif., on Tuesday, Aug. 23, and found nearly $34,000 stashed in the car's center console. Another car, a Volkswagen Passat, sped away, and when found a short time later had more than $3 million, shown here, packed in boxes in the trunk. (U.S. Border Patrol via AP)

Photo courtesy of the Associated Press. 

Then, another set of agents stopped the Volkswagen Passat, which they suspected of driving in tandem with the Kia. 

A 41-year-old Mexican national was arrested on suspicion of currency smuggling. Then the agents recovered $3,018,000 from the trunk of the car. 

Border Patrol told CNN the two suspects were turned over to Homeland Security and now face federal charges for currency smuggling. 

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