PHARR, Texas—U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility discovered 7,645 pounds (3,468 kg) of alleged marijuana concealed within a commercial shipment of ketchup arriving from Mexico.
“While drug smuggling organizations try to be creative in finding ways to conceal their illicit merchandise, CBP officers continue to effectively apply inspection skills and technology to prevent narcotics from crossing our borders,” said Port Director Carlos Rodriguez, Port of Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas.
On July 17, CBP officers assigned to the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge cargo facility encountered a tractor/trailer hauling a manifested commercial shipment of ketchup. Utilizing all available tools and resources, including a canine team, officers discovered that the buckets contained more than ketchup. Officers removed 968 packages of alleged marijuana that were hidden within the buckets and have a street value of $1,529,000.
CBP OFO seized the narcotics along with the tractor/trailer. Homeland Security Investigations continues with the 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.