Santa Teresa, New Mexico - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at the Santa Teresa port of entry made a huge marijuana seizure Saturday afternoon. CBP officers seized 655 pounds of the drug in a single seizure. A Las Cruces man was arrested in connection with the failed smuggling attempt.
"This is a huge amount of marijuana to be removed from a passenger vehicle," said Jesus Chavez, acting Santa Teresa Port Director for U.S. Customs and Border Protection. "The vigilance of CBP officers working at the Santa Teresa port combined with the various layers of enforcement we employ all led to this seizure."
The seizure was made at approximately 1:30 p.m. when a 1994 GMC van entered the port from Mexico. A CBP officer at the primary inspection station selected the vehicle for a secondary exam. CBP officers used a "Buster" density meter and received high readings consistent with hidden contraband when checking the ceiling of the van. CBP drug sniffing dog "Murphy" searched the vehicle and gave a positive alert for drugs.
CBP officers continued their examination and x-rayed the van which identified an anomaly in the ceiling of the vehicle. They drilled into the ceiling and removed a green substance which tested positive for marijuana. CBP officers located a hidden compartment in the ceiling of the van. They removed 328 marijuana-filled bundles from the ceiling.
CBP officers took custody of the driver, 33-year-old Javier Carreon of Las Cruces, New Mexico. He was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents on importation of a controlled substance and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance charges.
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 (CBP) 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.