RIO GRANDE CITY, Texas ― Border Patrol agents from the Rio Grande City Station have seized nearly 119,000 pounds of marijuana in the Starr County area since Oct. 1.
The amount of marijuana seized marks a 17 percent increase when compared to the same time period for fiscal year 2014.
Starr County has long been a high-threat area for narcotics smuggling, in fact for fiscal years 2012-2014 agents assigned to the Rio Grande City Station seized a combined total of more than 2.3 million pounds of marijuana, worth more than an estimated $1.8 billion.
The Border Patrol has taken a proactive approach to this threat by deploying resources into the area. Those resources include technological assets that include two aerostats as well as other detection and surveillance capabilities to cover Starr County.
The area in which a suspected smuggler was shot and killed early Wednesday morning after firing upon a Border Patrol agent during a marijuana seizure of more than 820 pounds is a high-volume narcotics trafficking area. That particular region is very remote and has experienced an increase in marijuana seizures this fiscal year of nearly 239 percent.
“The Border Patrol continually evaluates risks and will deploy the necessary resources to areas where the threat is greatest,” said Chief Patrol Agent Kevin W. Oaks. “Agents will continue to safeguard our borders and make every effort to prevent narcotics from reaching our communities.”
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.