EL PASO, TEXAS—U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the El Paso port of entry seized 251 pounds of marijuana Saturday. A Denver man was arrested in connection with the case. The estimated street value of the seized contraband is $200,800.
"This is a sizeable drug load that did not reach its intended destination," said El Paso Port Director Hector Mancha. "CBP officers are hard at work every day stopping a variety of threats."
The seizure was made just after noon on Saturday when a 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer entered the port from Mexico. A CBP officer at the primary inspection booth initiated an exam and selected the vehicle for a secondary exam. CBP officers scanned the vehicle with a Z-Portal x-ray system and spotted anomalies in the floor. CBP drug sniffing dog "Doky" searched the SUV and alerted to the floor. CBP officers removed a total of 176 bundles of marijuana from a floor compartment.
The driver was taken into custody by CBP officers and then arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement HSI agents in connection with the failed smuggling attempt. He is 30-year-old Leopoldo Ruben Deluna of Denver, Colorado.
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.
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.