CBP Makes Two Large Marijuana Busts at El Paso Port Cargo Lots
El Paso, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at the El Paso port of entry seized 1,415 pounds of marijuana in two cargo seizures Thursday. The estimated street value of the seized contraband is $1,132,000.
"The concealment methods were different but the results were the same. Large amounts of marijuana were stopped by hard working CBP officers," said CBP El Paso Port Director Hector Mancha. "CBP officers continue to process cargo traffic quickly and efficiently while taking the steps necessary to identify and stop those who try to smuggle drugs by blending in with legitimate trade."
The larger of the two seizures occurred just before 3:00 p.m. at the Bridge of the Americas commercial cargo facility when a bobtail truck hauling a shipment of cardboard entered the facility from Mexico. A CBP officer at the primary inspection booth selected the vehicle for a thorough inspection and directed the conveyance to a CBP x-ray system. The vehicle was scanned showing a number of anomalies in the appearance of a shipment of palletized cardboard. CBP officers continued their exam and found that the center of the cardboard stack had been hollowed out and the empty cavity filled with bundled marijuana. CBP officers removed a total of 949 bundles weighing 1,058 pounds.
CBP officers contacted U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) who immediately launched an investigation. HSI agents arrested three people in connection with the failed marijuana smuggling conspiracy.
The second seizure occurred just after 11:00 p.m. at the Ysleta commercial cargo facility when a flatbed trailer hauling a water tanker entered the facility from Mexico. A CBP officer at the primary inspection booth selected the vehicle for a thorough inspection and directed the conveyance to a CBP x-ray system. The vehicle was scanned showing an anomaly in the flooring of the trailer. CBP officers drilled the flooring and recovered a substance which tested positive as marijuana. CBP officers removed a total of 190 bundles weighing 357 pounds from the compartment. No arrests were made and 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.