Thursday, September 21, 2017, 9:12 am

Pilot admits smuggling cash, pleads guilty

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NEWARK: A United States commercial airline pilot who held a US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Global Entry Card today admitted smuggling $195,736 in undeclared currency into the country at Newark Liberty International Airport, US Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Anthony Warner, 55, of Dallas, Texas, pleaded guilty before US District Judge Claire C. Cecchi in Newark federal court to an information charging him with bulk cash smuggling.

According documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Global Entry is a CBP program that allows expedited clearance upon arrival in the United States for pre-approved travelers who have been determined to be low-risk. Pre-approval must be completed before enrollment, and the process includes a background check and an in-person interview. At airports, program members proceed to Global Entry kiosks, present their machine-readable passport or US permanent resident card, place their fingers on the scanner for fingerprint verification, and complete a Customs verification. The kiosk issues the traveler a transaction receipt and directs the traveler to baggage claim and the exit.

When Warner arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport on Jan. 10, 2016, the Global Entry computer system was not functioning, so he presented his customs declaration to a CBP officer.

CBP’s screening determined that he was carrying a laptop-style bag that contained $195,736 in United States currency wrapped in newspaper.  He also had 10 rings, four sets of earrings, and other assorted jewelry of undetermined value.

Warner’s possession of currency was contrary to the statements in his customs declaration and verbal statements that he made to CBP. Because of this, Warner was arrested by special agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

The charge to which Warner pleaded guilty carries a maximum punishment of five years in prison and forfeiture of all property involved in the offense. In his plea agreement, Warner agreed to forfeit the $195,736 in undeclared US currency. Sentencing is scheduled for April 18, 2017.

US Attorney Fishman credited special agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, Newark Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Terence S. Opiola, and US Customs and Border Protection, under the leadership of Robert E. Perez, Director, New York Field Office, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

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