LAREDO, TEXAS—U.S. Customs and Border Protection today announced that 192 commercial toilets seized during a drug bust at Laredo Port of Entry would find a more appropriate home with Habitat for Humanity of Laredo-Webb County.
Eugenio Garza Jr., Director, Field Operations, Laredo Field Office, together with Carol Sherwood, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Laredo-Webb County, gathered at an event held at the port conference room at Lincoln-Juarez Bridge to announce the donation.
"This donation serves as an excellent example of how a unique commodity that was confiscated and later forfeited to the U.S. government during the course of a drug seizure found a useful niche with an organization that builds homes for the economically disadvantaged," Garza said. "Habitat for Humanity of Laredo-Webb County can put the toilets to good use in the homes they build and CBP is able to give back to the community in which we live and work."
The seizure triggering the donation occurred on July 9, 2011 at World Trade Bridge. CBP officers referred a 1997 Freightliner tractor hauling a shipment of commercial toilets for a secondary examination. During the examination, CBP officers discovered 126 bundles containing 977 pounds of alleged marijuana commingled with the merchandise. The marijuana had an estimated street value of $977,000.
The 192 commercial toilets, carrying a domestic value of $7,079, were seized as well. CBP's Fines, Penalties and Forfeitures Division placed the toilet shipment through the forfeiture process. After no one petitioned for the merchandise, the toilets were forfeited to the U.S. government. CBP headquarters in Washington, D.C. approved the donation of the merchandise to Habitat for Humanity of Laredo-Webb County.
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.