Hidalgo, Texas - U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Rio Grande Valley Sector seized more than $630,000 worth of marijuana from a van Thursday.
Agents from the McAllen station were on patrol near Hidalgo when they noticed a suspicious white van in the area of the floodway near 23rd Street. When agents approached the vehicle, the driver sped off south toward the Rio Grande. The agents followed the vehicle to the riverbank where it had become stuck in the thick mud. The driver had bailed out of the van and dove into the river. He was last seen swimming to Mexico. Agents discovered 11 bundles of marijuana in the van, weighing nearly 800 pounds.
In the past drug smugglers have launched their vehicles into the Rio Grande in an attempt to get the drug load back to Mexico. This may have been the driver's intent before he got stuck in the mud.
The marijuana was turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
To report suspicious activity, contact the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector's toll-free telephone number at 1-800-863-9382.
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.