Edinburg, Texas - Over the past seven days, U.S. Border Patrol agents confiscated more than 13 tons of marijuana, with an estimated value of nearly $20.8 million, in multiple seizures throughout the Rio Grande Valley Sector.
One of the largest seizures occurred Thursday when agents assigned to the Rio Grande City Station had information regarding possible narcotics smuggling activity near La Casita, Texas. Agents patrolling the area spotted a black Ford truck traveling north on a farm road toward Highway 83 with several large bundles of narcotics in the bed and cab. When the driver spotted the agents, he made an abrupt turn back to the Rio Grande. Agents apprehended the driver as he attempted to bail out near the river. Inside the pickup agents found more than 1,600 pounds of marijuana with an estimated value of $1.3 million.
In an unrelated incident Tuesday morning, agents assigned to the McAllen station spotted two rafts loaded with narcotics near Penitas. Once the rafts reached the U.S. side of the river, the narcotics were loaded into an awaiting vehicle. The agents called Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine for air support, and an air interdiction agent was able to follow the vehicle and give agents information on the vehicle's direction of travel. The driver eventually bailed out and absconded. Agents seized more than 1,100 pounds of marijuana with an estimated value of $900,000.
Several additional seizures throughout the sector pushed the total marijuana seized from April 27 through Wednesday to more than 26,000 pounds. The drugs were turned over to various other agencies for further investigation.
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.