EDINBURG, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Rio Grande Valley Sector confiscated more than $14.4 million worth of marijuana in multiple seizures throughout the past week and saved the lives of four people Thursday.
The largest seizure occurred Tuesday morning at the Falfurrias Checkpoint on U.S. Highway 281 North. The drugs were found after a K-9 alerted to a tractor-trailer during an immigration inspection. Agents thoroughly searched the trailer and found nearly 2,600 pounds of marijuana hidden inside wooden crates. Agents at the checkpoint made another large seizure under similar circumstances earlier that morning. That seizure was made after agents discovered more than 1,900 pounds of marijuana hidden within a false compartment of a trailer.
Another big seizure took place in La Rosita on Wednesday when agents spotted smugglers loading bundles of marijuana into a van near the Rio Grande. Additional agents responded and attempted to intercept the vehicle as it was leaving the area, but the driver drove back toward the river. When the van arrived at the river, the driver jumped out and attempted to flee, but was quickly apprehended. Inside the van agents found more than 1,900 pounds of marijuana.
Several additional seizures from Sunday through Thursday pushed the total amount of marijuana confiscated to more than 18,000 pounds.
In addition to the drug busts, agents rescued four illegal immigrants, who had been abandoned by a human smuggler and were lost in the brush near Kingsville. The rescue occurred after agents responded to a 9-1-1 call regarding four people who were in distress. Agents located the individuals and offered them first aid. One of the immigrants was transported to a hospital in Kingsville for medical treatment. The individual was discharged from the hospital and taken to the Border Patrol station for processing.
Despite an increase in apprehensions of illegal immigrants, rescues have declined 52 percent and immigrant deaths have fallen 36 percent so far this fiscal year as opposed to the same time period last year.
The Rio Grande Valley Sector is part of the South Texas Campaign, which leverages federal, state and local resources to combat transnational criminal organizations. To report suspicious activity, call the sector’s toll-free telephone number at 800-863-9382.
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.