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Old 12-06-2017, 11:56 AM   #21
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Coming back into the states, north of Teddy Roosevelt National Park, the trailer was quite thoroughly searched - I think the border guard was bored. The strangest part was that he asked for our driver's licenses along with our passports. That was a new one to me. But he was actually pretty friendly throughout the long inspection anyway. We had told him was had one bottle of wine and 2 beer purchased in Canada. He charged us something like $2.20. I asked if he would take Canadian money.
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:21 PM   #22
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Brother, someone should write a book about border stories.

My experience over the years has run from the good, the bad and the ugly. The worst, crossing back into CA from Mexicali. And all over half a grapefruit that we asked to put in a garbage can.

I've done the crossing with more than the $10,000 thing and crossing with firearms thing and never had the slightest problem because I did the paperwork required. But you can't blame border guards for following up if they have a suspicion about an illegal firearm. The sad truth is a huge number of folks lie and many illegal firearms are seized each year.

The past 3 months I've averaged one border crossing a week. Nothing but "have a nice day" both coming and going. And my sister's sundeck is finished.

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Old 12-06-2017, 02:06 PM   #23
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Is the photo of the pistol that they found on my phone sufficient evidence to warrant their insistance that the pistol was in my truck, and that they would disassemble my truck if I did not tell them where it was?
Likely, yes. They also would not likely have damaged anything in a search; the threat of disassembling the truck can be enough to convince some carriers of firearms (and drugs) to admit what they have.

There is a very extensive history of U.S. resident gun owners entering Canada and claiming not to have a firearm with them, but having one which is found in a search - that experience is the basis of the suspicion. Lots of vehicles have been partially disassembled in a search which doesn't result in finding anything, at various borders and by border agents of many countries... including the United States.

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If the officers did find a "money belt" containing funds would they have confiscated said funds?
If you had money over the level which must be declared ($10,000), after claiming not to have it, then yes - it would have been seized, but it would likely have been returned to you (immediately) after payment of a fine. That makes perfect sense to me.

You can carry as much money as you want into Canada, as long as you declare any amount over $10,000 when they ask... and as long as they don't find that it is proceeds of crime. The idea that very large cash movements are not likely legitimate (but could be) is the reason for the limit and the investigation.
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Old 12-06-2017, 02:14 PM   #24
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Back in the mid-1980's, I was riding in a 15-passenger van full of "party on" graduate students with luggage for a week-long meeting in Quebec City. No requirement for passports back then. Border guard took a head count, asked the driver where we were headed and why, then stepped back and waved us through. I think he just didn't wanted to deal with us beyond that. Times have sure changed. Also changed, I have a friend whose family has a summer home on an island in the St. Lawrence River. The island is considered Canadian, but the nearest shopping center is on the American side of the river. Up until a few years ago, no one batted an eye at them boating back and forth to shop. Now there is an occasional U.S. border guard doing random checks where they and others temporarily tie up their boats - looking mostly, they've been told, for black market prescription drugs and un-taxed alcohol and tobacco products beyond normal personal consumption (granted, "normal personal consumption" can vary tremendously!).
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Old 12-06-2017, 02:18 PM   #25
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Did the customs officers have the jurisdiction necessary to search my cell phone?
Yes, you had it with you, so it was searchable. The same would apply to a computer (you must provide any password required to enable access for searching), or a locked storage compartment (you must unlock it or give them the key so they can unlock it). Pictures, messages, and documents on phones are a great source of information for border officers, making them aware of firearms, drugs, and plans to work without a permit or otherwise conduct business illegally.

On the other hand, remote resources are not included: you do not need to provide passwords or other access to "cloud storage" services, because the contents of those are not being carried by you across the border. Of course our phones are so integrated with those services that it is difficult to separate the two.
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Old 12-06-2017, 02:35 PM   #26
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If you had money over the level which must be declared ($10,000), after claiming not to have it, then yes - it would have been seized, but it would likely have been returned to you (immediately) after payment of a fine. That makes perfect sense to me.

You can carry as much money as you want into Canada, as long as you declare any amount over $10,000 when they ask... and as long as they don't find that it is proceeds of crime. The idea that very large cash movements are not likely legitimate (but could be) is the reason for the limit and the investigation.
I would just as concerned about some random police stop resulting in a civil forfeiture of the cash as of getting it across the border. Would never travel with that amount cash.

Aggressive police take hundreds of millions of dollars from motorists not charged with crimes | The Washington Post
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Old 12-06-2017, 02:54 PM   #27
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Do not carry large sums of cash. At least in the US. Every state has a "Civil Asset Forfeiture" law. Some really liberal...some fairly straight up. Generally it goes like this...you get pulled over for whatever reason...the office asks if you have a large sum of cash. Being honest you answer yes and why. They want to see it...and automatically assume it's drug money. That assumption on the part of the office gives them the legal right to confiscate it right there. You do not even need to be charged with a crime. You'll play hob getting it back. Same goes for US border crossings, etc. In fact, if they think the vehicle and trailer are involved they can take that also. Bad juju.....

What Is Civil Asset Forfeiture? - FindLaw
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Old 12-06-2017, 03:08 PM   #28
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Are we getting political now?
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Old 12-06-2017, 03:10 PM   #29
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[QUOTE=Micheal K;227304
Would never travel with that amount cash.

[/QUOTE]

Well, sometimes it's what you need to do. I bought a car in Portland. Guy checked with his bank and then said a wire transfer from my bank to his was fine. Drove to Portland, went to bank, he asked if he could then take the cash out after we finished the transaction. No, they said, we hold it for 3 days. Whoa, he says even though the two banks are related and his bank could see that the money was there. He wanted cash.

Came home, thought about it, wife really wanted the car, so I put a wad of cash in my money belt, declared it at customs at the airport and got the car. Not my first choice to carry lots of cash but for some folks, and not just drug dealers, it's the way they want to do business.

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Old 12-06-2017, 03:15 PM   #30
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Are we getting political now?
Hi: Ironhorsenva... No "Poll it bureau" here!!! Alf
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Old 12-06-2017, 03:39 PM   #31
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I agree that carrying large sums of cash (specifically over a border) is generally unwise. Of course Dennis didn't do that, but the border agents were apparently suspicious that he might be carrying a lot and using the trailer purchase as a story to cover for illegal activity. Of course there was no big pile of cash and no problem in the end.
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Old 12-06-2017, 04:08 PM   #32
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We've had no issues at the Canadian border. They do ask repeatedly if you are bringing any prohibited items such as weapons, but that's just their job. I've had far more hassle crossing back into the US to be honest. The Canadian side has never searched my trailer, while the US side always does. Additionally, we have found the Canadian officials more courteous and professional than the US side, but that's just our experience.
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Old 12-06-2017, 04:08 PM   #33
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Are we getting political now?

Oh no. There has been an on-going problem of officers using the Civilian Asset Forfeiture law in a bad way. The proceeds go to fund their department costs. So that particular precinct can benefit. In the right hands it's totally understandable. In the wrong hands it can be devastating. As for that.....I'll leave it alone. YMMV.
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Old 12-06-2017, 04:51 PM   #34
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There is a lot of latitude at the individual level when it comes to border agents or likely any law enforcement officer. It's a life and death job sometimes. I give them no reason to mess with me. Keep my rig in good working order, drive the speed limit and don't do anything funky. However, sometimes your number is just up and making the best of it is a wise course of action. It seems like the OP did that here. Otherwise I bet he'd still be there.

On the other hand..my dog (a Pitbull) and I have run into some fine law enforcement officers who haven't given us one iota of trouble. And have been happy to interact with us.

Can you imagine having their jobs? Not me.
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Old 12-06-2017, 05:57 PM   #35
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Are we getting political now?
No just whining. In our case after the deal with the feds coming back from Mexico I did a little Cheech and Chong imitation about the stuff for a day or two. We even have been back into Mexico. Just not in a large SUV, that seems to attract the wrong type of attention.
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Old 12-06-2017, 06:07 PM   #36
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In the sixth grade I was on the safety patrol. One day the teacher called me in and said that I needed to start reporting more people for infractions.

I honestly think the same thing happens to some of these customs people -- they've got quotas to fill and sometime it's our bad luck to get chosen. My husband said I should share our story, but while the inconvenience we experienced was annoying, it doesn't compare to what happened to the OP. When I get "chosen" at an airport to be felt up it feels like a violation and at my age and with my white hair I can get away with telling the person exactly what I think if I do it calmly. At border crossings I just act old and tired when given a hard time. If someone were to go through our stuff and make threats I'd feel exactly the way the OP did. I wish I thought all this scrutiny made us safer, but I don't.

We fly less as a result of the TSA -- it's a big reason we have a trailer and take trains. We also think carefully about border crossings because the food thing is such a pain. When we crossed from Canada to Glacier National Park I got rid of all the fresh food because I didn't want to be hassled. Problem was that in Glacier fresh food was hard to come by. Fortunately for us after three days our son came up from Helena and brought supplies.

I hope never to become accustomed to being treated with disrespect.
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Old 12-06-2017, 06:37 PM   #37
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I hope never to become accustomed to being treated with disrespect. Could not have said it better, as I get older I get more impatient with disrespectful people.
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Old 12-06-2017, 06:42 PM   #38
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There is a member of this forum who always got hassled when crossing because he shared the same first and last name of another person who had been banned from entering Canada. Both were from Florida as I understand the situation.
Yes, this was me, and from this experience I think Dennis was being confused with someone else. I went through this about three times before I realized I was getting special treatment and asked why. The Canadian customs officer wrote something down on a piece of paper, folded it in half, and handed it to me, instructing me to write down my Social Security number. I did, then he unfolded the paper and showed me the number they were looking for. This other person shared my name and was born on the same date in Florida. After the last incident I have had no problems entering Canada, so I guess I have been "cleared" in their system.
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Old 12-06-2017, 06:52 PM   #39
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I live in Abbotsford which is the crossing point for the Sumas border. I go across the border about once every 2 weeks. I have only been inspected once when the US agent said it was my lucky day as they were doing random checks that day. It took about an hour and I was on my way. I wasn't offended and considered it part of their job. I think, as been stated, that any hint of firearms and large sums of money will raise red flags. I always have to think when I am going across the border if anything is in the car that might be a problem such as bear spray (I am in the woods a lot) or fruit.
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Old 12-06-2017, 06:55 PM   #40
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There have been numerous stories here in Canada about parents trying to get their kids off the "No Fly List" and how difficult that is to do. You would think common sense would suggest that a 6-year-old kid is not a likely terrorist, even if they have the same name, but rules are rules.
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