El Paso, Texas —U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and U.S. Border Patrol agents working at the El Paso port of entry discovered 381 pounds of marijuana in one seizure Thursday. The estimated street value of the seized contraband is $304,800.
“The discovery was initiated during a sweep of vehicles waiting to arrive at the primary inspection station,” said Hector Mancha, CBP El Paso Port Director. “These operations are useful because officers and agents can quickly scan numerous vehicles in a short period of time.”
The seizure was made just before 10 a.m. yesterday at the Bridge of the Americas international crossing when a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado entered the port from Mexico. CBP officers and Border Patrol agents initiated a discussion with the driver and then selected the vehicle for a more thorough screening. A CBP officer scanned the vehicle with a “Buster” density meter and received high readings consistent with hidden contraband. A CBP officer noticed a bump in the floor of the truck and pulled back the carpeting revealing a wrapped bundle. CBP officers and BP agents continued the exam and discovered 195 marijuana-filled bundles hidden in the floor and bed of the vehicle.
CBP officer arrested the driver of the truck. He is identified as 30-year-old Mauricio Rojo-Mares of Cuahtemoc, Chihuahua, Mexico. He was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement 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.
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.