Brownsville, Texas -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and Border Patrol agents working outbound enforcement operations at the Gateway International Bridge on Tuesday seized two Berretta 9mm semi-automatic pistols, four 9mm magazines and 14 50-caliber assault-type rifle magazines. In a separate seizure also on Tuesday, CBP officers at Brownsville and Matamoros International Bridge stopped an attempt to smuggle nearly $1.6 million in cocaine into the country.
The first case took place at the Gateway International Bridge on May 25, 2010 when CBP officers and Border Patrol agents working outbound enforcement operations encountered a black Volkswagen as it attempted to exit the United States to enter Mexico. The driver, identified as a 29-year-old male U.S. citizen and resident of San Benito, Texas was referred to secondary for further inspection. In secondary, further inspection of the vehicle by CBP officers and agents resulted in the discovery two Berretta 9mm semi-automatic pistols, four 9mm magazines and 14 50-caliber assault rifle magazines in this enforcement operation. Officers seized the weapons, magazines and the vehicle.
The second case occurred at the Brownsville and Matamoros International Bridge on May 25, 2010. At primary a CBP officer's inspection resulted in the referral of a blue 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup, driven by a 27-year-old Mexican citizen who resides in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico for further inspection. While in secondary, CBP officers' secondary examination revealed a total of 19 packages of cocaine hidden within the Dodge. Officers removed 19 packages from the vehicle which had a combined total weight of 21.90 kilograms (48.3 pounds) of cocaine.
The cocaine from this seizure has an estimated street value of approximately $1,545,600. Officers seized the narcotics and the vehicle.
Both men were taken into custody by CBP officers and turned over to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents for further investigation.
"CBP officers and agents in Brownsville continue to work diligently to stem the flow of weapons out of and narcotics into the country. I congratulate our team for an outstanding job with these interceptions," said Port Director Michael Freeman, Brownsville Port of Entry.
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.