El Paso, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the El Paso port of entry seized 222 pounds of marijuana Tuesday night. The estimated street value of the seized marijuana is $177,600.
"Officer expertise, technology and canine support all played a role in this seizure," said CBP El Paso Port Director Hector Mancha. "Layered enforcement is an important element in our ability to identify and stop threats we encounter at the border."
The seizure was made at approximately 6:30 p.m. when a 2000 Dodge Dakota entered the port form Mexico. A CBP officer at the primary inspection station selected the vehicle for a secondary exam after noting that the driver appeared nervous. CBP officers scanned the vehicle with the Z-Portal x-ray system. The results of the scan showed anomalies in the appearance of the vehicle.
CBP drug sniffing dog "Drago" also searched the truck and alerted to the panels. CBP drilled into the suspect area and recovered a substance which tested positive for marijuana. CBP officers continued their exam and located 127 marijuana-filled bundles in the walls of the truck.
CBP officers took custody of the male driver, 43-year-old Hector Palma Alvidrez of Alamogordo, New Mexico. He was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement HSI special agents in connection with the failed smuggling attempt.
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.