ANZALDUAS, TEXAS—Officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the Anzalduas International Bridge seized $1,640,000 worth of cocaine that was discovered in a vehicle driven by a man from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico and arrested a child smuggler in a separate, unrelated incident over the weekend.
“Our frontline officers have detected these two separate, distinct violations, one involving illicit narcotics and the other having to do with a child being smuggled, both resulting in failed smuggling attempts,” said Efrain Solis Jr., port director, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas. “CBP enforces numerous laws at our ports of entry and we are tasked with detecting a myriad of violations, as evidenced by these two interceptions and we will seek prosecution to the fullest extent allowed by law.”
The narcotics seizure occurred on Saturday afternoon, Dec. 7, at the Anzalduas-Reynosa International Bridge after CBP officers encountered a white 2013 Ford Fusion driven by a 54-year-old male Mexican citizen. The driver presented his Mexican passport with U.S. visa and a CBP officer referred him to secondary for a more thorough examination. In secondary and with the use of a vehicle non-intrusive imaging system, officers discovered packages of suspected narcotics hidden with the Ford Fusion. A total of 20 packages of alleged cocaine weighing approximately 23.25 kilograms (51.25 lbs.) were removed and CBP seized the narcotics and vehicle as well.
The failed child smuggling attempt occurred on Friday evening, Dec. 6 at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge pedestrian walkway. A 40-year-old female United States citizen from La Villa, Texas arrived along with a minor boy, who she claimed was her son. The adult female presented a State of Texas issued identification and a U.S. birth certificate for herself and for the minor child. A CBP officer referred them to secondary for further inspection and document review and it was there that officers discerned that the boy was not related to the woman and was a nine-year-old Mexican citizen without valid documents to legally enter or reside in the U.S.
CBP arrested the adult male involved with the narcotics and subsequently released him to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations agents for further investigation. CBP also arrested the adult female and she will be incarcerated pending appearance before a U.S. Federal Magistrate on criminal charges for alleged violation of U.S. immigration law. The minor boy was released to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Refugee Resettlement facility where he will be temporarily housed.
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.