EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — Border officers stopped a vehicle that was heading into Mexico with nearly a quarter of $1 million hidden within.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the Nissan sedan was heading south in Mexico at the Pharr International Bridge.

Officers then searched the car and found 14 bundles of cash totaling $247,500 hidden within the vehicle.

Failing to declare more than $10,000 when entering or leaving the U.S. is a federal crime that can result in an arrest and seizure of the money. CBP says individuals may petition to have the money returned, but one must prove that the source and intended use of the currency was legitimate.

“CBP officers conduct outbound enforcement operations to protect against unreported exportations of bulk U.S. currency, which often can be proceeds from alleged illicit activity or currency that funds transnational criminal organizations,” said Port Director Carlos Rodriguez of the Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry.

CBP officers seized the currency while special agents with Homeland Security Investigations launched a criminal investigation.