CBP Officers Arrest 2 Santa Fe Residents on Smuggling Charges
Columbus, New Mexico - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Columbus port of entry seized 156 pounds of marijuana Monday night. The estimated street value of the seized contraband is $124,800. Two residents of Santa Fe were arrested in the seizure.
"The combination of hard working CBP officers and high technology made this seizure possible," said Jose Robles, acting CBP Columbus Port Director. "The layers of enforcement we employ have proven to be effective in stopping drug smugglers in their tracks."
The seizure was made just before 6 p.m. when a 1996 Dodge Ram truck with two occupants arrived from Mexico. A CBP officer at the primary inspection booth initiated an exam and selected the vehicle for a secondary search after detecting a number of issues during a conversation with the occupants. CBP officers used a "Buster" density meter to search the vehicle and received high readings consistent with hidden contraband. CBP officers then x-rayed the truck and spotted anomalies in several locations. The vehicle was dismantled and 139 marijuana-filled bundles were removed from hidden compartments in the quarter panels and rear wall of the pick-up.
CBP officers took custody of the driver, 49-year-old Kathy Porter Rodriguez, and the passenger, 49-year-old Vernon Martinez. Both are U.S. citizens residing in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The pair was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) HSI agents to face federal drug smuggling charges.
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.
For more information on CBP please tune in to AM radio 530 (Ysleta/Zaragosa area) or AM Radio 1620 (Bridge of the Americas/Paso Del Norte area). These low power radio stations continuously broadcast CBP related border crossing information in English and Spanish.
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.