EL PASO, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations agriculture specialists identified a suspicious piece of luggage leading CBP officers to a 6.2 pound heroin load late Friday. The estimated street value of the seized contraband is $198,400.
“CBP remains vigilant in its homeland security mission,” said Beverly Good, CBP El Paso Port Director. “Using various layers of enforcement CBP personnel are finding drugs, apprehending wanted people, and stopping illegal immigration at area ports on a daily basis.”
The seizure was made at approximately 9:40 p.m. March 18 when 53-year-old Jose Alfredo Alaniz entered the Paso Del Norte pedestrian inspection area. A CBP agriculture specialist X-rayed a piece of luggage the man was carrying and spotted anomalies in the appearance of the bag. CBP officers initiated an exam and noted that the suitcase seemed heavier than normal. A CBP drug sniffing dog searched the bag and alerted to the side walls. CBP officers continued their inspection and located three heroin-filled packages sewn into the lining of the luggage.
CBP officers arrested the man who is a resident of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. He was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Eforcement HSI special agents to face charges associated with the failed drug 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.