HIDALGO/BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the Hidalgo and Brownsville International Bridges seized $493,000 worth of cocaine in two separate, unrelated incidents and arrested two adult males in the process on August 22, 2013.
"These two compact but significant seizures of hard narcotics, concealed by very distinct and totally unrelated methods were intercepted due to our frontline officers' keen observational skills and outstanding commitment to help keep drugs out of our country," said Gene Garza, Director of Field Operations, Laredo Field Office.
The first incident occurred at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge in the morning hours after CBP officers encountered a silver 2006 Chevrolet Impala driven by a 20-year-old male United States citizen from Shelbyville, Indiana. After presenting his U.S. birth certificate, a CBP officer referred him to secondary for further inspection and it was there that officers discovered packages of suspected narcotics hidden within the vehicle. Officers removed and seized six packages of alleged cocaine weighing approximately 6.46 kilograms (14.24 lbs.) with an estimated street value of $456,000 and seized the vehicle also.
The second incident occurred on the same date at the Brownsville-Matamoros B&M International Bridge just before noon when CBP officers came in contact with a 42-year-old male United States citizen at the pedestrian lanes. A CBP officer referred him to secondary for further interview after the traveler failed to produce any identification and it was during the course of the examination that officers discovered four packages of alleged cocaine weighing approximately .53 kilograms (1.17 lbs.) concealed on his person. CBP-OFO seized the cocaine, which has an estimated street value of $37,000.
CBP-OFO arrested both adult male travelers and subsequently released them to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents for further investigation.
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.