El Paso, Texas —U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers and U.S. Border Patrol agents working at the El Paso port of entry seized 10.95 pounds of cocaine Wednesday. The drugs were concealed inside the engine of a pick-up truck. The seized cocaine has an estimated street value of $350,000.
“Smugglers spent considerable time and effort to conceal this cocaine load,” said Hector Mancha, CBP El Paso Port Director. “This seizure proves again that smugglers will use any available space in a vehicle to hide their contraband.”
The seizure was made just before 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Bridge of the Americas international crossing while CBP officers, CBP canine teams, and Border Patrol agents were performing a sweep of vehicles waiting just south of the primary inspection booths. CBP drug sniffing dog “Shake” alerted to a 1995 Ford F-150 pick-up that had arrived from Mexico. CBP officers moved the vehicle to the secondary inspection area to continue their exam. The officers noted several anomalies in the appearance of the truck. They continued their exam and located seven cocaine-filled bundles concealed inside the engine manifold. The drugs weighed 10.95 pounds.
CBP officers arrested the driver of the truck. He is identified as 33-year-old Omar Eduardo Robles Romero of Chihuahua City, Chihuahua, Mexico. He was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations special agents to face charges associated with the failed smuggling attempt.
While anti-terrorism is the primary mission of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the inspection process at the ports of entry associated with this mission results in impressive numbers of enforcement actions in all categories.
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.