EL PASO, TEXAS—
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations officers working at area ports of entry 788 pounds in 12 seizures during the President's Day holiday weekend. The estimated street value of the seized contraband is $630,400.
The largest weekend seizure occurred Sunday just after 2 p.m. at the Ysleta international crossing at the El Paso port of entry when a 1996 GMC Sierra pickup arrived from Mexico. CBP officers initiated an exam and then selected the vehicle for an x-ray exam. CBP officers scanned the vehicle and noted the appearance of foreign objects in the fuel tank and in the back seat area.
CBP drug sniffing dog "Basty" searched the truck and also alerted to the presence of drugs. CBP officers discovered 44 marijuana-filled bundles in the rear cab of the truck and large metal boxes containing compressed marijuana in the gas tank. The weight of all the seized marijuana was 207 pounds.
CBP officers took custody of the driver, 22-year-old Isaac Gutierrez Estevane of Cuauhtémoc, Chihuahua, Mexico.
He was turned over to and arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement HSI agents in connection with the failed smuggling attempt. He is currently detained at the El Paso County jail with no bond.
"The combination of officer expertise, high technology and our canine assets led to this seizure," said Barry Miller, CBP El Paso acting Port Director. "The layers of enforcement CBP employs should serve as deterrent for those considering the smuggling trade."
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.