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Man sentenced for smuggling | Crime

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Man sentenced for smuggling
Man sentenced for smuggling

FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. -- A Fayetteville man has been sentenced to one year and nine months in prison after being found guilty of smuggling.

Stephen Willoughby, 37, must also perform 100 hours of community service and spend three years on supervised released after his time in prison.

Investigators said Willoughby had a history of improperly declaring currency when he flew back to the United States after spending time abroad.

"This defendant attempted to smuggle excessive amounts of cash through [Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport] on two separate occasions," U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a statement. "The laws requiring international travelers to declare more than $10,000 in cash when entering or leaving the United States serve to prevent money laundering and financing of a variety of illegal conduct. We will continue to vigorously enforce these laws."

Yates said that on Feb. 13, 2011, Willoughby flew into the Atlanta airport from London. Because he had failed to properly declare his currency in the past, Customs and Border Patrol had placed a lookout on him and were waiting for his arrival.

Upon landing in Atlanta, Willoughby filled out a declaration form that claimed he was only carrying $100, Yates said. However, a pat-down and luggage search uncovered near $107,000.

"The common denominator for most transnational criminal activity is bulk cash," ICE special agent Brock D. Nicholson said in a statement. "By targeting and seizing the illicit proceeds being moved into and out of the United States, we are really hitting these criminal organizations where it hurts -- on their bottom lines."