LAREDO, Texas – On June 23, Laredo West agents assigned to their daily operations seized 1,451 pounds of marijuana found inside a cloned oil-field truck.
At approximately 6:30 a.m., a Laredo West agent responded to a callout of a suspicious vehicle described as a white Chevrolet pickup truck on a ranch near Encinal, Texas. Agents observed a vehicle matching the description exiting a ranch gate onto Highway 44. After the agent attempted to stop the vehicle in order to conduct an immigration inspection, the driver of the vehicle subsequently drove off the highway through a ranch gate and then came to a stop about a one-fourth mile into a ranch, where the driver absconded. An extensive search for the driver was conducted with negative results.
A service canine alerted to an odor emitting from the vehicle. Border Patrol agents conducted a thorough inspection of the abandoned vehicle where they discovered bundles wrapped in cellophane packaging. The substance inside the bundles tested positive for marijuana.
The pickup truck was made to resemble a well-known oilfield and pipeline service company in an attempt to blend in with other oil-field work trucks.
A total of 102 bundles of marijuana were extracted from the abandoned vehicle with a total weight of 1,451 pounds and an estimated street value of $1.16 million.
The marijuana and vehicle were turned over to DEA.
The Laredo Border Patrol Sector is part of the South Texas Campaign, which leverages federal, state and local resources to combat transnational criminal organizations. To report suspicious activity such as drug and/or alien smuggling, contact the Laredo Sector Border Patrol toll free telephone number at 1-800-343-1994.