HIDALGO, Texas—U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Hidalgo and Pharr International Bridges seized $1,329,000 worth of narcotics in four, separate unrelated incidents this weekend.
“This was definitely a busy weekend, as far as narcotics interdictions and arrests for smuggling these illegal drugs,” said Port Director Efrain Solis Jr., Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry. “Not only is CBP Field Operations tasked with processing legitimate travelers, but we must also seek out those with other illicit intentions.”
The first seizure occurred on Feb. 5, after CBP officers working at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge referred a 19-year-old male U.S. citizen driving a blue 1999 Chevy Silverado for secondary inspection. During the secondary examination, officers discovered 13 packages of alleged methamphetamine and two packages of alleged heroin hidden within the Silverado the La Villa, Texas resident was driving. CBP seized the approximate 29 pounds of methamphetamine and 3.5 pounds of heroin valued at $401,000 and $136,000, respectively.
The second seizure occurred the following day, at the same border crossing after CBP officers discovered 20 packages of alleged cocaine hidden within a red 2004 Ford F-150 driven by a 22-year-old woman from San Antonio, Texas. CBP OFO seized the nearly 45 pounds of cocaine worth approximately $342,000 and seized the pickup truck as well.
On Feb. 7, CBP officers assigned to the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge encountered a 25-year-old man from Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico driving a gray 2002 Jeep Liberty. After referring the vehicle for further inspection, officers discovered and seized 10 packages weighing approximately 25 pounds of alleged methamphetamine concealed within the Jeep. Estimated street value of narcotics is $349,000.
The last incident also occurred on Sunday, Feb. 7 after CBP officers came in contact with a 22-year-old female Mexican citizen from Guadalajara, Mexico at the pedestrian walkway. During a subsequent inspection, officers discovered two packages of alleged methamphetamine hidden within the suitcase the woman was bringing. CBP OFO seized just over seven pounds of the narcotic which carries an estimated street value of $101,000.
CBP OFO seized all the vehicles utilized in the failed smuggling attempts and arrested all four persons involved, ultimately releasing them to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents for further investigation.
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.