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Try to smuggle $1.1M to Mexico adds up to 2-year prison stint

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Try to smuggle $1.1M to Mexico adds up to 2-year prison stint

Plea agreement leaves money to U.S.

A 49-year-old man was sentenced to two years in prison Friday for attempting to smuggle more than $1.1 million from the United States into Mexico.

Jorge Armenta-Ramirez, of Mexico, pleaded guilty to bulk cash smuggling charges in exchange for the 24-month sentence. Under the plea agreement, U.S. District Judge Raner Collins also ordered the money to be forfeited to the United States.

Armenta was trying to enter Mexico through the DeConcini Port of Entry in Nogales on Nov. 8, according to court documents, said Robbie Sherwood, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office. When asked if he had more than $10,000 in U.S. currency to declare, Armenta-Ramirez told U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents that he had $500.

Agents searched Armenta-Ramierz's vehicle and found $1,156,594 stashed in the roof of the truck, Sherwood said.

Under the bulk cash smuggling law, anything more than $10,000 must be declared when leaving the country.

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