EL PASO, TEXAS—U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the El Paso port of entry seized 419 pounds of marijuana Tuesday. The drugs were hidden inside the bed of a pickup truck. The estimated street value of the seized contraband is $335,200.
"CBP officer expertise, canine enforcement, and high technology all played a part in making this seizure," said Hector Mancha, CBP El Paso Port Director. "The layers of enforcement CBP employs at area ports of entry makes drug smuggling a risky proposition."
The seizure was made just before noon Tuesday when a Ford F-150 pickup arrived at the Bridge of the Americas international crossing from Mexico. CBP officers initiated an examination of the vehicle and selected the truck for a secondary exam. CBP drug sniffing dog "Falco" was returning to the secondary area after performing a sweep of vehicles in line when he pulled his handler to the truck and alerted to the presence of drugs. CBP officers scanned the truck with an x-ray system and noted anomalies in the bed of the vehicle. CBP officers removed 408 marijuana-filled bricks from a hidden compartment in the bed of the truck.
CBP officers arrested the driver of truck, a 33-year-old male from Chihuahua City, Chihuahua, Mexico. He was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement HSI special agents to face federal charges in connection with the failed smuggling attempt.
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.
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.