Two Mexican brothers were arrested Saturday, border officials said, after a half-million dollars in cash was found in their van near the Otay Mesa border crossing.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection discovered the money stuffed in a duffel bag.
The men's vehicle was stopped at the inspection station along state Route 905, authorities said in a news release issued later in the day. Officers said they found $ 499,620 in the duffel bag and another $1,291 in the suspects' wallets and pockets.
"The watchfulness of CBP of people and vehicles leaving the country takes away the ill-gotten gain of drug cartels, removes the weapons used in the drug wars and keeps dangerous persons from fleeing justice," said Paul Morris, director of field operations in San Diego, in the news release.
They men were charged with felony bulk cash smuggling and failure to declare.