CBP Field Operations Yields Over $3 Million in Narcotics at International Bridges This Weekend
Hidalgo/Pharr, Texas—Officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), at the Hidalgo and Pharr International Bridges seized heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine valued at approximately $3,408,000 in three separate, unrelated incidents. CBP arrested four individuals in connection with these failed smuggling attempts.
“This productive weekend in narcotics seizures illustrates our frontline officers’ extreme commitment towards combating the illicit flow of dangerous drugs from crossing our borders,” said Efrain Solis Jr., Port Director, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas. “These interceptions of hard narcotics coincide with the trend that has been experienced in that drug smuggling organizations are preferring these type of drugs.”
The first incident occurred on Friday morning, January 24, at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge after CBP officers encountered a commercial passenger bus arriving from Mexico. The driver, a 54-year-old male U.S. citizen from Dallas, Texas presented his U.S. passport card and the co-pilot, a 26-year-old male from Michoacan, Mexico presented his Mexican passport with U.S. visa. CBP referred the bus, a maroon 1997 Prevost to the vehicle non-intrusive imaging system and after further inspection, packages of suspected narcotics were discovered within the bus batteries. Officers removed and seized 24 packages of alleged heroin weighing approximately 57 pounds and seized the bus as well. The estimated street value of the heroin is $1,840,000.
The second seizure/arrest occurred on Saturday morning, January 25, at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge. A gold 2006 Chevrolet Malibu, driven by a 24-year-old female Mexican citizen from Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico arrived from Mexico and was referred to secondary for further inspection after presenting her Mexican border-crossing card. During the secondary inspection, officers discovered 15 packages of alleged cocaine weighing approximately 41 pounds concealed within the Malibu. CBP seized the vehicle and the narcotics which carry an estimated street value of $1,338,000.
The last incident occurred at the same border crossing later that same afternoon after CBP officers came in contact with a black 2000 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck. The driver, a 47-year-old Mexican national and legal permanent resident from Pharr, Texas was referred to secondary along with his pickup for a more thorough inspection. While inspecting the vehicle, officers discovered three packages of alleged methamphetamine concealed within the Chevy pickup. CBP seized the vehicle and the narcotics which weighed approximately 7 pounds and have an estimated street value of $230,000.
CBP arrested the three males and female and they were subsequently released 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.