Elvis Mitchell, Former New York Times Movie Critic, Caught At Canadian Border With $12,000 Cash In Cigar Box

09/14/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Former New York Times movie critic Elvis Mitchell better come up with a good explanation for what he was doing with $12,000 in cash in a cigar box - or he won't get the money back.

On Friday, the US government filed an application to keep the cash that border guards found on Mitchell last April 27, when his taxi crossed into his hometown of Detroit as he returned from a documentary film festival in Toronto. "A search of Mitchell's belongings uncovered the box full of money along with [15] Cuban cigars," Canada's Windsor Star reports.

"He gave us a declaration for $80 and they found $12,000 US and the cigars," said border patrol chief Ron Smith.

Mitchell - who's now busy promoting "The Black List," the HBO documentary about race he co-produced with Timothy Greenfield-Sanders - told authorities the money was an accumulation of ATM withdrawals over the past year.

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