EL PASO, TEXAS—U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the El Paso port of entry seized 1,397 pounds of marijuana on March 7. The drugs were hidden within a commercial shipment of micro filler marble granules with the words "Direct From The Hands Of God - He Knows" stamped on the packaging.
"Smugglers using religious symbolism and articles of faith have become more common place in recent years," said CBP El Paso Port Director Hector Mancha. "We have found drugs concealed in framed pictures of Jesus Christ, quinceanera plaques, and in vehicles with religious themed bumper stickers as well as those with crosses or rosary beads hanging from the rear view mirror."
The seizure was made at approximately 9:30 p.m. when a commercial truck hauling a flatbed trailer arrived at the Ysleta commercial cargo facility. CBP drug sniffing dog "Yuran" searched the conveyance and alerted to the trailer. CBP officers scanned the vehicle with a non-intrusive x-ray system and noted an anomaly in the shipment. The truck was moved to the cargo inspection dock for a thorough exam. CBP officers searched pallets of the bagged commodity and noticed that they had been stacked to conceal large bundles of marijuana in the middle of the pallets. CBP officers seized a total of 78 marijuana-filled bundles. No arrests were made and the investigation continues.
While anti-terrorism is the primary mission of CBP, the inspection process at the ports of entry associated with this mission routinely results in impressive numbers of enforcement actions in all categories.
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.