Busy Tuesday at Santa Teresa Port Nets CBP marijuana and More
SANTA TERESA, N.M. -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operation officers working at the Santa port of entry were busy Tuesday recording a wide variety of enforcement actions. CBP officers made two drug seizures, apprehend a fugitive, confiscated prohibited agriculture items and seized unreported currency.
“Homeland security is our primary mission however the work CBP officers perform to support that goal often generate other enforcement activity,” said CBP Santa Teresa Port Director Ray Provencio. “The results CBP officers and agriculture specialists recorded Tuesday are a good example of the many scenarios and challenges we face on a daily basis.”
The larger of two marijuana seizures occurred just after 9 a.m. when a Ford F-250 pick-up truck entered the port from Mexico. A CBP officer at the primary inspection station initiated an exam and noted an anomaly in the auxiliary fuel tank/tool box in the bed of the truck. The vehicle was moved to the secondary exam area where CBP drug sniffing dog “Roma” alerted to the auxiliary fuel tank.
CBP officers scanned the vehicle with the port x-ray system which helped CBP identify an anomaly in the appearance of the fuel tank. CBP officers continued the exam and located 165 marijuana-filled bundles hidden in the fuel tank. The drugs weighed 169.5 pounds.
CBP officers arrested the driver of the car, 25-year-old Omar Hurtado of El Paso, Texas. He was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations special agents to face charges associated with the failed smuggling attempt.
The second of two marijuana seizures occurred just after 8 p.m. when a Mazda Millenia sedan entered the port from Mexico. A CBP officer at the primary inspection station selected the vehicle for a secondary exam. During the search a CBP officer noticed the unusual appearance of the rocker panel area of the car. The CBP officer removed the panel cover and spotted tape-wrapped bundles.
CBP officers scanned the vehicle with the port x-ray system which helped CBP identify anomalies in the rocker panels, doors, bumper and floor of the car. CBP officers continued the exam and located 108 marijuana-filled bundles hidden in multiple compartments within the vehicle. The drugs weighed 117.9 pounds.
CBP officers arrested the driver of the car, 44-year-old Edward Lopez of Las Cruces, N.M. He was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations special agents to face charges associated with the failed smuggling attempt.
CBP officers working at the Santa Teresa port on Tuesday also apprehended one NCIC fugitive, seized $14,029 in unreported currency and assessed a $300 penalty against an individual who was transporting prohibited sausage and produce (apple and orange) across the border.
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.