EL PASO, TEXAS—U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the El Paso port of entry seized 744 pounds of marijuana Tuesday. The drugs were hidden inside a shipment of plaster. The seized drugs have an estimated street value of $595,200.
"This is a sizeable drug load that did not reach its intended destination," said CBP El Paso Port Director Hector Mancha. "Smugglers spent considerable time and effort to conceal this contraband."
The seizure was made just before 3:00 p.m. at the Bridge of the Americas commercial cargo facility at the El Paso port of entry. A Peterbilt tractor hauling a flatbed trailer loaded with bags of plaster arrived from Mexico. CBP officers selected the shipment for an x-ray scan. The scan showed anomalies in the appearance of the commodity. CBP drug sniffing dog "Pali" also searched the trailer and alerted to the bags of plaster.
CBP officers moved the truck to the cargo dock and unloaded the shipment. They opened a bag of plaster and located a cellophane wrapped bundle inside. The contents of the bundle were tested and the results indicated that package contained marijuana. CBP officers removed a total of 68 marijuana-filled packages from the bags of plaster. No arrests were made and the investigation continues.
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.