CBP Officers at 8 Laredo Field Office Ports Seize Nearly $11 Million in Narcotics, $100K in Currency Over Weekend
Laredo, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at ports of entry extending from Brownsville to Del Rio amid a busy Mexican holiday weekend amassed a significant enforcement haul that included nearly $11 million in narcotics seized, $100,186 in undeclared currency and nearly 20 immigration violations.
Over a 72-hour period ending at midnight Sunday, CBP officers at eight ports of entry extending from Brownsville to Del Rio seized 238 pounds of cocaine, 2,401 pounds of marijuana, 13.3 pounds of heroin, $100,186 in undeclared currency, uncovered 19 violations of immigration law, apprehended 13 people wanted on outstanding warrants and recovered two stolen vehicles.
Among the standout narcotics seizures was a seizure of cocaine that occurred at the Colombia-Solidarity Bridge in Laredo, Texas on Saturday, Nov. 17. CBP officers examining a 2012 Ford Edge driven by a 27-year-old male Mexican citizen from Nuevo Laredo Tamaulipas, Mexico discovered 30 packages containing a total of 78 pounds of alleged cocaine hidden within the vehicle. The cocaine has an estimated street value of $2.3 million.
At Hidalgo International Bridge in Hidalgo, Texas on Friday, Nov. 16, officers encountered a 40-year-old female lawful permanent resident from Edinburg, Texas attempting to exit the United States as a passenger in a commercial bus. During the inspection of all of the occupants, officers noticed nervous behavior from the female traveler and referred her for a more thorough inspection and it was there that packages of unreported U.S. currency were discovered hidden on her person, purse and her luggage. The total of the unreported U.S. currency was $100,186.
Both passengers were turned over to Homeland Security Investigations special agents for further investigation. The narcotics and the unreported currency were seized by CBP.
On Sunday morning, Nov. 18, a black 1999 GMC Yukon arrived at the Roma-Miguel Aleman International Bridge in Roma, Texas. The driver, a 39-year-old female from Dallas presented her lawful permanent resident card and a United States birth certificate for a four-year-old boy who she claimed was her nephew. The occupants were referred to secondary for a more thorough inspection and document review and it was there that officers discovered that the boy was not related to the female and was in fact a citizen and national from Mexico without legal documents to enter or reside in the United States.
The adult female traveler was incarcerated pending appearance before a U.S. Federal Magistrate on criminal charges for alleged violation of U.S. immigration law. The child was returned to his biological mother who arrived at the port of entry and both returned back to Mexico.
"Our frontline CBP officers, faced with heavy traffic due to a Mexican holiday and the approaching Thanksgiving holiday, maintained a vigilant enforcement posture and the end result was a significant and impressive array of enforcement activity including nearly $11 million in narcotics, a notable currency seizure and multiple arrests for immigration law violations," said Eugenio Garza Jr., CBP director, Field Operations, Laredo Field Office.
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.