El Paso, Texas -—U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the El Paso port of entry seized 700 pounds of marijuana Wednesday. The drugs were hidden in a commercial shipment of joint compound. The estimated street value of the seized contraband is $560,000.
“Smugglers will sometimes mix a shipment of contraband with actual cargo in an attempt to blend in with legitimate international trade,” said Hector Mancha, CBP El Paso Port Director. “The various methods of enforcement CBP uses helped defeat this smuggling effort.”
The seizure was made at approximately 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Bridge of the Americas commercial cargo lot when a Chevrolet box truck carrying a shipment of palletized joint compound arrived from Mexico. CBP officers and canine teams were performing an enforcement sweep of vehicles waiting in the queue of trucks when a CBP drug sniffing dog alerted to the vehicle. CBP officers scanned the vehicle with an x-ray system and identified an anomaly in the appearance of the shipment. The truck was unloaded and CBP officers searched the sealed boxes. They found bundles of marijuana hidden in 200 boxes of joint compound. The drugs were seized. No arrest was made.
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.