LAREDO, TEXAS—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Laredo Port of Entry seized a combined total of 32 pounds of heroin as a result of two separate enforcement actions this past weekend at the Gateway to the Americas Bridge. The total value of the heroin seized is listed at $1,024,000.
The first seizure occurred on Saturday, January 5, when a 2007 Dodge Caliber arrived at the Gateway to the Americas Bridge from Mexico driven by a 22-year-old male U.S. citizen from North Lake, Ill. The driver and vehicle were referred to CBP secondary for further examination. While in secondary, CBP officers discovered 19 packages of alleged heroin weighing 24 pounds, within the vehicle. The heroin has an estimated street value of $768,000.
The second seizure also occurred on Saturday at the same bridge. CBP officers encountered a 1999 Jeep Cherokee SUV driven by a 33-year-old male U.S. citizen from Aurora, Ill. CBP officers referred the man and the occupants in the vehicle for an intensive inspection. That inspection resulted in the discovery of six packages containing eight pounds of alleged heroin within the SUV. The heroin has an estimated street value of $256,000.
CBP officers seized the alleged heroin and both vehicles from both of these cases. The two drivers were arrested by CBP officers and turned over to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents for further investigation.
"As CBP officers managed the daunting challenge of processing the high volume of travelers returning to the U.S. from their visits to Mexico for the holiday season, CBP officers maintained their enforcement posture," said Sidney K. Aki, CBP Port Director, Laredo, Texas Port of Entry. "The interception of these two significant narcotics seizures is a testament to their dedication and commitment in fulfilling the CBP mission."
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.