El Paso, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at El Paso area ports of entry made 29 marijuana seizures during the last week. CBP officers confiscated a total of 1,701 pounds of marijuana. Two of the seizures involved juvenile drug smugglers.
"Smuggling organizations will use every imaginable method to get the narcotics through our international ports of entry including using teens who are barely old enough to drive," said Ana Hinojosa, CBP director of Field Operations in El Paso. "These seizures show the focus and hard work that all our officers put forth every day."
CBP officers at the Bridge of the Americas in the El Paso port of entry confiscated 14.87 pounds of marijuana on Wednesday from a 16-year-old female from El Paso. The seizure was made during a pre-primary inspection of a 1998 Nissan Pathfinder that was selected for inspection. CBP drug sniffing dog "Chip" searched the vehicle and alerted to the engine area of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to a separate inspection area where an extensive inspection of the vehicle was conducted. CBP officers discovered 19 packages concealed in the area of the dashboard. The contents of the bundles tested positive for marijuana.
The second juvenile was arrested when CBP officers at the Paso Del Norte crossing in El Paso seized 47.52 pounds of marijuana just before 11 a.m. Thursday from a 17-year-old male from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The drugs were concealed in the gas tank of a 1992 Ford Explorer that entered the port from Mexico.
Both Juveniles were turned over to the El Paso Police Department.
CBP officers in the El Paso area stopped a total of 61 juvenile (17 and under) drug smugglers during 2009, seizing just under 2,800 pounds of drugs. So far this year they have made three juvenile drug smuggling busts, confiscating 103 pounds of marijuana.
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.