First Responders

Feds Seize 25K Canadian Loonies in Tennessee

September 9, 2021Joshua Skovlund

US Customs and Border Protection officers search thousands of packages throughout the year, watching for illegal drugs, weapons, etc. Photo courtesy of US Customs and Border Protection.

Sure, cops catch loonies all day long. But it’s not every day that federal agents haul in 25,000 of them at once.

On Tuesday, Sept. 7, US Customs and Border Protection in Memphis, Tennessee, seized 25,000 Canadian loonies — worth about $19,700 in US dollars — on their way to Massachusetts.

The Canadian one-dollar coin is nicknamed a “loonie” because a common loon is depicted swimming on the reverse side. 

Customs and Border Protection spokesman Matthew Dyman told Coffee or Die Magazine Wednesday that agents X-rayed a suspicious package before it shipped out of an unnamed Tennessee express consignment hub.

The $25,000 in Canadian dollars seized Aug. 18, 2021. The shipment was sent from a village in Canada and was meant to arrive at an address in Boston, Massachusetts. Photo courtesy of US Customs and Border Protection.

The parcel was stuffed with Canadian currency, not the “books or brochures,” “belt buckle,” and “jeans” listed on the shipping paperwork.

Shipping money isn’t illegal, but misreporting what’s in a package and failing to fill out official forms declaring more than $10,000 in cash can be unlawful.

Dyman said the parcel apparently shipped from a village in rural Saskatchewan and was bound for a Boston address.

Last year, Customs and Border Protection agents seized more than $102.2 million nationwide, but agents typically made headlines along the border with Mexico, not at checkpoints near Canada or Tennessee parcel processing plants.

Although Customs and Border Protection agents found $645,245 hidden in a passenger vehicle trying to enter through Portal, North Dakota, on May 24, Dyman said the Memphis seizure was a “once in a blue moon” event.

A common saying inside Customs and Border Protection is “people and drugs come north, money and guns go south,” and that informs the strategy agents in the Southwestern states use to combat smuggling, Dyman explained.

“We don’t have the same sorts of mass transnational criminal organizations operating up there,” Dyman said. “So Canadian dollars are just not something that flows back and forth illegally between our two countries.”

Homeland Security Investigations didn’t open a probe into the Canadian parcel, so the cash will be held until someone claims it.

If unclaimed, the money will be surrendered to the US Department of Transportation and deposited in the Treasury Forfeiture Fund.

Read Next: US Customs and Border Patrol Makes Second-Largest Meth Bust in Its History

Joshua Skovlund
Joshua Skovlund

Joshua Skovlund has covered the 75th anniversary of D-Day in France, multinational military exercises in Germany, and civil unrest during the 2020 riots in Minneapolis that followed the death of George Floyd. Born and raised in small-town South Dakota, he grew up playing football and soccer before serving as a forward observer in the US Army. After leaving the service, he earned his CrossFit Level 1 certificate and worked as a personal trainer while earning his paramedic license. He went on to work in paramedicine for more than five years, much of that time in the North Minneapolis area, before transitioning to a career in multimedia journalism. Joshua is married with two children. His creative outlets include Skovlund Photography and Concentrated Emotion, where he publishes poetry focused on his life experiences.

More from Coffee or Die Magazine
US Speeds Up Abrams Tank Delivery to Ukraine War Zone

The original plan was to send Ukraine 31 of the newer M1A2 Abrams, which could have taken a year or ...

March 21, 2023Associated Press
Coffee Or Die Photo
US: War Crimes on All Sides in Ethiopia's Tigray Conflict

The Biden administration announced Monday that it has determined all sides in the brutal conflict in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region committed war crimes and crimes against humanity.

March 20, 2023Associated Press
military pilots cancer rates
Higher Cancer Rates Found in Military Pilots, Ground Crews

In its yearlong study of almost 900,000 service members who flew on or worked on military aircraft b...

March 20, 2023Associated Press
whiskey pour
Veterans Lead the Way Among America’s Growing Craft Distilleries

American veterans are taking the lessons they learned in the military and changing the craft distilling industry.

March 20, 2023Mac Caltrider
military suicide veteran suicide
Military Moves To Cut Suicides, But Defers Action on Guns

In a memo released Thursday, Austin called for the establishment of a suicide prevention working gro...

March 17, 2023Associated Press
us military drills japan-south korea
US, Partners Stage Military Drills Amid Japan-South Korea Talks

The Sea Dragon 23 exercises that started on Wednesday will culminate in more than 270 hours of in-fl...

March 17, 2023Associated Press
leo jenkins a word like god
‘A Word Like God’: New Book From Army Ranger Leo Jenkins

In his latest poetry collection, Ranger-turned-writer Leo Jenkins turns away from war to explore cosmic themes of faith, fatherhood, and art.

March 16, 2023Mac Caltrider
us drone
Pentagon Video Shows Russian Jet Dumping Fuel on US Drone

The Pentagon on Thursday released video of what it said was a Russian fighter jet dumping fuel on a ...

March 16, 2023Associated Press
  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
  • Request a Correction
  • Write for Us
  • General Inquiries
© 2023 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved