Marijuana bundles found packed inside truck's side panels
SANTA TERESA, N.M. -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operation officers working at the Santa Teresa port of entry arrested two people and seized 161 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of $128,000, yesterday.
“The combination of CBP officer expertise, tools, and technology led to this seizure,” said Ray Provencio, CBP Santa Teresa port director. “As a result, a large amount of marijuana was stopped at the border.”
The seizure was made at approximately 9:30 a.m. when a 2005 Chevrolet sport utility vehicle with two occupants entered the port from Mexico. CBP officers were screening vehicles waiting in line just south of the primary inspection booths. A CBP officer scanned the roof of the truck with a “Buster” density meter and received high readings consistent with hidden contraband.
CBP officers moved the vehicle to a secondary exam area and scanned the vehicle with an x-ray system. The scan showed anomalies in the ceiling and quarter panels of the vehicle. CBP officers removed a total of 141 marijuana-filled bundles from multiple hidden compartments.
CBP officers arrested the driver, 36-year-old Armando Yanez Balbuena of Chihuahua, Mexico. They also arrested the passenger, 40-year-old Noel Oguer Aguirre Garcia of Chihuahua City, Mexico. Both were turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations special agents to face charges associated with the failed smuggling attempt.
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.