EL PASO, TEXAS—U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers working at the El Paso port of entry seized 253 pounds of marijuana Wednesday. The seizure was the largest drug bust made this week by CBP officers working in El Paso, West Texas and New Mexico.
"Multiple layers of enforcement employed by CBP were instrumental in making this seizure," said Hector Mancha, CBP El Paso port director. "The smuggling threat is high and CBP officers remain vigilant in performing their important homeland security mission."
The seizure was made just after 8 a.m. when a 2000 Ford Ranger pickup arrived at Paso Del Norte international crossing. A CBP officer at the primary inspection station noted the unusual behavior of the driver and selected the vehicle for a secondary exam. CBP drug sniffing dog "Frankie" searched the truck and alerted to the bed. CBP officers scanned the truck with a non-intrusive Z-portal inspection system and spotted anomalies consistent with hidden contraband. CBP officers removed 81 marijuana filled bundles from the bed and floor of the truck.
CBP officers arrested the driver, 19-year-old Rodolfo Daniel Salazar Rodriguez of Cuauhtemoc, Chihuahua, Mexico. He turned over to and arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement HSI agents in connection with the failed smuggling attempt.
The 253-pound seizure was the largest of 17 drug busts made by area CBP officers this week. They seized 1,418 pounds of marijuana in 14 seizures, 16 pounds of cocaine in two busts and less than a pound of methamphetamine in one additional seizure.
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.