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CBP Busts Violators Mixed In With Legitimate Holiday Travelers

Release Date: 
December 21, 2017

EL PASO, Texas -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers working at El Paso area ports of entry seized 294 pounds of marijuana in four different seizures Wednesday. The estimated street value of the seized contraband is $235,200.

​Drug bundles in spare tire.
​Drug bundles in spare tire.

“It is important to note that during this period of exceptionally heavy holiday related traffic CBP officers remain vigilant and are hard at work keeping our communities safe,” said Hector Mancha, CBP El Paso Director of Field Operations.

The largest seizure of the day occurred at the Paso Del Norte international crossing in El Paso when a 2001 Ford Explorer entered the port from Mexico. CBP officers were performing an enforcement sweep of vehicles waiting in line when a CBP drug sniffing dog alerted to the spare tire and undercarriage of the vehicle. CBP officers x-rayed the SUV and identified anomalies in multiple locations. CBP officers removed 99 marijuana filled bundles from the spare tire and quarter panels. The drugs weighed 107 pounds.

CBP officers took custody of the driver, a 50-year-old male Mexican citizen. He was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement HSI special agents to face charges associated with the failed drug smuggling attempt.

In addition to the drug busts CBP personnel also made three seizure of prohibited agricultural items, stopped two shipments of counterfeit goods, and recorded one illegal export violation Wednesday.

While anti-terrorism is the primary mission of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the inspection process at the ports of entry associated with this mission results in impressive numbers of enforcement actions in all categories.

Last modified: 
December 21, 2017