CBP Field Operations Officers at Rio Grande Valley International Bridges Seize Close to $2 Million in Cocaine and Over $120K in Unreported Currency
HIDALGO, TEXAS—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Office of Field Operations (OFO) officers at the Anzalduas and Hidalgo International Bridges seized just under $2,000,000 in cocaine and over $120,000 in unreported currency respectively this weekend in two separate, unrelated incidents.
The first incident occurred on Sunday afternoon, June 2, at the Anzalduas-Reynosa International Bridge after CBP-OFO officers encountered a silver 2012 Nissan Altima driven by a 34-year-old male Mexican citizen from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. The driver presented his Mexican border-crossing card and an OFO officer referred him to secondary for a more thorough examination. During the process of the secondary inspection and with the use of a vehicle non-intrusive imaging system, officers discovered packages of suspected narcotics concealed within the seats. A total of 25 packages weighing approximately 25.64 kilograms (56.53 pounds) of alleged cocaine were removed which CBP-OFO seized along with the vehicle. The estimated street value of the cocaine is $1,900,000.
The second incident occurred on the same date later that evening at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge. CBP-OFO officers working outbound operations selected a commercial passenger bus, that was attempting to enter into Mexico, for further inspection. During the course of the secondary inspection, officers discovered bundles of unreported U.S. currency hidden within a piece of luggage belonging to one of the passengers, a 52-year-old male Mexican national and lawful permanent resident from Dalton, Ga. OFO officers seized a total of 19 bundles from the luggage, which totaled $120,638 in unreported U.S. currency.
CBP-OFO officers arrested both individuals and subsequently released them to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for further investigation.
"These were two significant seizures of hard narcotics and unreported currency that our officers' were able to execute this weekend," said Efrain Solis Jr., Port Director, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas. "Utilizing all of the technology available at our disposal and our ability to check outbound travelers has enabled us to make these two interceptions."