Photo: Mother of Cash Carrying Kids Sentenced to 3 Years Probation
In September 2011, Veronica Angulo Leyva’s children were sent in the U.S. to pick up $100,000 in undeclared currency and bring it back to her in Mexico, and as a result she was accused of child abuse.
The children, ages 14 and 16, were sent to across Nogales towards Mexico on September 24, 2011 after having picked up $100,000 from an unidentified man. However, as they approached the border at the Dennis DeConcini Port of Entry, a security dog alerted authorities to the 14-year-old girl. Upon searching her, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers found 10 wads of U.S. bills stuffed into her girdle.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement was called, but later stated that they would not be taking on the case as a immigration matter and turned it over to the Nogales Police Department.
Angulo Leyva said she had no idea that her children’s trip involved any wrong doing, saying her husband said the children were just going to pick up a pink slip for a car for a friend.
The mother said she only became aware of what the children were really doing when her husband told her as she waited for the kids at the border.
Despite her claims however, she took a plea deal and pled guilty to one count of child abuse . As part of the plea, and additional charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering was also added.
She was sentenced to 7 months in jail and three years probation.
Angulo Leyva said she had lived in California as an undocumented immigrants for 25 years, but chose to take her U.S. citizen children to Mexico to keep her son from the local gang activity she had witnessed in California.