HIDALGO, TEXAS—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the Hidalgo and Anzalduas International Bridges seized $2,505,000 worth of cocaine in two separate, unrelated incidents and arrested two individuals in connection with the failed smuggling attempts.
"Our officers' continued vigilance and outstanding enforcement posture has enabled them to make these two interceptions of alleged cocaine which combined, hold a substantial dollar value in the illicit drug market," said Efrain Solis Jr., port director, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas.
The first seizure/arrest occurred on Friday night, Sep. 27, after CBP officers at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge encountered a white Buick Verano driven by a 34-year-old female United States citizen from Dale, Texas. After presenting her Texas-issued driver's license and U.S. birth certificate, she was referred to secondary for further inspection and during the course of the examination, officers discovered packages of alleged cocaine concealed within the vehicle's battery. Officers removed and seized six packages weighing approximately 5.40 kilograms (11.90 lbs.) with an estimated street value of $390,000.
The second incident occurred on Saturday morning, Sep. 28, at the Anzalduas-Reynosa International Bridge when CBP officers came in contact with a 40-year-old male Mexican citizen from Apodaca, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. A CBP officer referred him to secondary for a more thorough examination after presenting his Mexican passport with U.S. visa. In secondary, and with the use of a vehicle non-intrusive imaging system, officers discovered packages of suspected narcotics hidden within the vehicle. Officers removed and seized a total of 26 packages of alleged cocaine weighing approximately 29.98 kilograms (66 lbs.) with an estimated street value of $2,115,000.
CBP seized both vehicles and arrested both the male and female travelers, who were subsequently released to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agent 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.