PHARR, Texas—U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Pharr and Hidalgo International Bridges seized $443,000 worth of cocaine in three separate, unrelated incidents and arrested four people in connection with the failed drug smuggling attempts.
“These interceptions of hard narcotics are a great indication that drug smuggling organizations are making a concerted effort to introduce their merchandise across the border,” said Port Director David Gonzalez, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry. ”CBP continues to counter those efforts through vigilance and perseverance.”
The first seizure occurred at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge on Nov. 8 after a CBP officer referred a grey 2013 Volkswagen Jetta with two occupants, a 28-year-old man and a 52-year-old woman, both Mexican citizens, for further inspection. With the assistance of a (canine team), CBP officers discovered 10 packages of alleged cocaine hidden within the vehicle. The estimated street value is $184,500 for the 23.90 pounds (10.84 kg).
The second interception occurred on Nov. 10 at the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility. Utilizing all available tools and resources, including non-intrusive imaging technology (NII), CBP officers discovered six packages of alleged cocaine weighing 15.61 pounds (7.08 kg) within a commercial tractor/trailer driven by a 29-year-old man from Mexico. These narcotics have a street value of $120,500.
CBP OFO accomplished the last seizure at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge on Nov. 11 after referring a 20-year-old man from Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico driving a white Chevy Cobalt for a secondary inspection. During the course of the examination, officers discovered seven packages of alleged cocaine hidden with the Cobalt. CBP OFO seized the 17.95 pounds (8.14 kg) valued at $138,000.
CBP OFO seized all the vehicles and arrested the four persons associated with the drug-smuggling attempts, subsequently turning them over 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 official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.