Anthony Warner Pleads Guilty: Pilot Smuggled $195K In Cash
Anthony Warner, a commercial pilot from Dallas, Texas, smuggled over $195,000 in the country. The man admitted to a single charge and pleaded guilty to moving undeclared cash and jewelry in the U.S. after an agreement with prosecutors. Warner’s sentencing is scheduled for April 18, 2017, according to NJ.com. He could spend up to five years in federal prison.
On January 10, the 55-year-old pilot landed at the Newark International Airport coming from Mumbai, India. Warner was a participant in the Global Entry program, which allows quick entry in the country for some categories of travelers. On that day, Newark’s Global Entry terminal was not working, and the pilot opted to go through U.S. Customs and Border Protection and showed his declaration to an officer.
Customs agents found $195,736 in U.S. bills wrapped in a newspaper inside of his laptop bag. It was also confirmed that several pieces of jewelry were also in Warner’s possession. Investigators were not able to trace the source of the seized funds.
It is illegal to travel in America with more than $10,000 without telling authorities. This kind of behavior is starting to receive more attention because people involved in money laundering schemes rely on those loopholes to take advantage of the system.
For example, this week in the United Kingdom, a 49-year-old Dutch man named John Buwalda was arrested in a hotel after smuggling close to $3 million worth of cocaine at Rochester Airport in Kent. He is also a pilot and was sitting on a toilet when the authorities arrived. The comical aspect of this story helped it go viral.
Nonetheless, pilots linked to criminal activities is no laughing matter. It is an area that is very challenging for law enforcement. Warner’s participation in the Global Entry program meant that he was considered “low-risk” by CBP officers. His behavior proves that it is hard to get everything right when evaluating individuals.