Federal authorities arrested a Chinese woman after she allegedly illegally crossed a Canada-United States border near Maine with more than $28,000 worth of gold bars in her possession.

The 36-year-old unidentified woman was arrested near the town of Amity in Maine on Tuesday, Aug. 5, and authorities recovered 14.25 ounces of gold bars, valued at over $28,500, from her, according to a statement released by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Thursday, Aug. 7. She allegedly also had more than CAD $13,500 (US$10,000) in cash.

Officials said the woman confessed to being a Chinese national and that she was crossing the U.S. border illegally. She told border authorities she was a student in Canada and crossed the border to visit a friend in San Francisco.

“The vigilance, service and integrity of our Border Patrol Agents who continue to apprehend those who are looking to circumvent customs and immigration laws, plays an important role in keeping our communities in Maine and throughout the United States safe,” Houlton Station Patrol Agent in Charge Brent Conley said in the statement.

The shoe impressions left on the spot where she allegedly crossed the border matched with hers, enabling officials with the Houlton Border Patrol Station to identify her, the statement said. She was sent back to Canada, where she was staying legally, following her arrest.

The Chinese immigrant population in the U.S. reached 2.5 million in 2018, representing about 5.5% of the total foreign-born population, according to a January report by the Migration Policy Institute. As of 2018, the Chinese immigrants were the third largest foreign-born group present in the U.S., comprising of nearly 45 million people, with Mexico and India topping the list.

Under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, undocumented immigrations involving racketeering or "alien smuggling" are to face criminal penalties, including deportation from the U.S.

Undocumented immigrant families are released from detention at a bus depot in McAllen, Texas, June 25, 2018. REUTERS/Loren Elliott