Edinburg, Texas - Although several Border Patrol vehicles were disabled by homemade spikes, that didn't stop agents from confiscating more than 10 tons of marijuana in multiple seizures throughout the Rio Grande Valley Sector over the past three days.
The vehicles were disabled Tuesday near Havana, Texas, when agents saw a suspicious vehicle driving away from the Rio Grande. When the vehicle's driver noticed the agents, he made a U-turn and returned to the river. As the agents followed the vehicle, the spikes were deployed and disabled four vehicles. A Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine helicopter was called in to assist and observed about 30 people retrieving bundles from the vehicle and transporting them to Mexico via boats. As the smugglers fled the area they set the vehicle on fire. The La Joya Fire Department was called to the scene and extinguished the blaze.
The largest of the drug seizures occurred Tuesday when agents received information from Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations about a ranch near El Sauz, Texas, that possibly contained a large cache of marijuana.
The agents went to the ranch and followed footprints into the brush. After following the trail for a short distance they found more than 6,000 pounds of marijuana. Shortly after discovering the drugs, the agents heard a vehicle enter the ranch and saw two men approaching their location. The agents identified themselves to the men, at which time the pair fled. After a brief foot pursuit both men were apprehended.
The marijuana and the two men, who are nationals of Mexico, were turned over to ICE-Homeland Security Investigations.
Overall between Monday and Wednesday agents seized more than 20,000 pounds of marijuana with a value of more than $16.3 million.
Because smugglers continue to endanger the lives of innocent motorists through the use of homemade spikes on public roadways, law enforcement authorities are asking the public to help by contacting the Hidalgo County Crime Stoppers at 956-668-TIPS to report any information regarding the deployment or manufacture of spikes being used by smugglers. All callers will remain anonymous and all information will be kept confidential.
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.