EL PASO, Texas -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the El Paso port of entry seized 323 pounds of marijuana in four seizures, Wednesday.
Area CBP officers also nabbed four fugitives, seized prohibited agricultural products, confiscated counterfeit goods and stopped an outbound smuggling attempt during a busy day at the border.
“CBP officers remain focused and committed to the mission even as the area is experiencing unprecedented high temperatures,” said Hector Mancha, CBP El Paso Port Director. “I am proud of the dedication our personnel exhibit no matter how hot, cold or uncomfortable the weather may be.”
One case of note occurred at about 9:30 a.m. at the Ysleta international crossing when a 2002 Chevrolet Venture van with four people arrived from Mexico. The occupants included a 24-year-old driver, her minor child, aunt and mother-in-law. CBP officers initiated an exam of the vehicle and located 37 tape-wrapped bundles concealed in a hidden compartment built into the floor of the van. The drugs weighed 63.85 pounds.
CBP officers took custody of the driver, 24-year-old Gabriela Colunga Montelongo of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. She was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents to face charges associated with the failed smuggling attempt. Her three relatives were released.
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.