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CBP Stops Three Drug Loads At Presidio Port Of Entry

Release Date: 
August 12, 2014

PRESIDIO, Texas -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operation officers working at the Presidio port of entry made three drug seizures in three days seizing 275 pounds of marijuana. The estimated street value of the seized contraband is $220,000.

“CBP officers at the Presidio port continue to step up and stop drug smugglers in their tracks,” said John Deputy, CBP Presidio Port Director. “The smuggling threat remains high however the vigilance exhibited by our officers stopped three drug loads in three days.”

The most recent of the three seizures was made at approximately 9:30 p.m. Saturday when a 2006 Jeep Commander with two female occupants arrived from Mexico. CBP officers selected the vehicle for a secondary examination. CBP officers scanned the vehicle using the Z-Portal x-ray system and noted anomalies in the appearance of the fuel tank. CBP officers removed the fuel tank and located non-factory metal boxes in the tank. CBP officers removed a total of 68 pounds of marijuana from the hidden compartments.

CBP officers arrested the driver of the vehicle, 26-year-old Claudia Angelica Quintana, and the passenger, 21-year-old Vilma Magaly Vargas Rodriguez. Both are from Chihuahua City, Chihuahua, Mexico. They were turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations special agents to face charges associated with the failed smuggling attempt.

CBP officers at the Presidio port made another seizure earlier in the day August 9. The seizure was made at approximately 2 a.m. when a 2002 Dodge Ram with three occupants arrived from Mexico. CBP officers selected the vehicle for a secondary examination and spotting signs of tampering on the vehicle. CBP officers scanned the vehicle using the Z-Portal x-ray system and noted anomalies in the appearance of the dashboard. CBP officers removed 79 pounds of marijuana from the compartment.                                                                                                               

CBP officers arrested the driver of the vehicle, 20-year-old Gerhard Krahn of Ruthven Canada. They also took custody of the passengers, 18-year-old Willie Wiebe of Vauxall, Canada and 20-year-old Johan Siemens of Vauxhall, Canada. They were turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations special agents to face charges associated with the failed smuggling attempt.

CBP Officers discover drug load in floor of a PT Cruiser.

CBP Officers seized 128 pounds of marijuana from a hidden compartment within a 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser.

The largest of the three seizures was made August 7 at approximately 10:20 a.m. when a 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser with a single occupant arrived from Mexico. CBP officers selected the vehicle for a secondary examination after noting that the driver was nervous during a routine discussion. CBP officers located signs of tampering in the vehicle and then found a hidden compartment in the floor. CBP officers scanned the vehicle using the Z-Portal x-ray system and confirmed that the vehicle contained a non-factory compartment. CBP officers removed 128 pounds of marijuana from the hidden compartment.

CBP officers arrested the driver of the vehicle, 58-year-old Ernesto Figueroa Pallares of Chihuahua City, Chihuahua, Mexico. He was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations special agents to face charges associated with the failed smuggling attempt.                                                                                                                  

While anti-terrorism is the primary mission of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the inspection process at the ports of entry associated with this mission results in impressive numbers of enforcement actions in all categories.