COLUMBUS, N.M.—U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers working at the Columbus Port of Entry seized 2,387 pounds of marijuana Tuesday afternoon. The seizure is believed to be the largest marijuana seizure ever recorded at the crossing.
"This is a huge seizure by any means but for the Columbus port it is historical," said Robert Reza, CBP Columbus Port Director. "Our initial review of enforcement records shows that the largest seizure made at the Columbus port in recent history was a 2,323 pound bust in March 1998."
The seizure was made just after 1 p.m. when a tractor-trailer hauling a load of ceramic floor tile entered the facility from Mexico. CBP officers initiated an examination of the shipment during which CBP drug-sniffing dog "Misu" alerted to the cargo. CBP officers opened a box and found a wrapped bundle hidden inside a hollowed box of tile. CBP officers continued their exam and recovered a total of 467 marijuana-filled packages from the shipment.
"Smugglers went to extreme lengths to conceal this shipment by creating hollow spaces within the tile and filling them with marijuana before closing the boxes to make them appear as if they just came off the factory line," said Reza. "I commend the CBP officers involved in making this seizure and stopping this load here at the Columbus port."
No arrests were made. The investigation continues.
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.