El Paso, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at the El Paso port of entry Wednesday, made a 38.9 pound cocaine seizure with a value of approximately $1,244,800.
"Smuggling organizations will use every imaginable method to get the narcotics through our international ports of entry," said Bill Molaski, CBP El Paso port director. "This seizure compliments the focus and hard work that all our officers put forth each and every day."
The seizure was made at the Bridge of the Americas (BOTA) at 4:15 p.m. when a 1993 Dodge Caravan arrived at the port from Mexico. CBP officers and canine teams were conducting a sweep of vehicles waiting in line at the international crossing when CBP drug sniffing dog "Outlaw" alerted to the vehicle. CBP officers launched an exam and located a non-factory compartment in the firewall area of the car. They drilled into the compartment and removed a white substance that tested positive for cocaine. CBP officers removed a total of 15 cocaine-filled bundles from the compartment.
CBP officers arrested the driver, 68-year-old Concepcion Bertha Montoya of El Paso. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents took custody and booked her into the El Paso County jail to face federal prosecution. She remains in custody and is being held without bond.
CBP officers at the El Paso port of entry made four more drug busts yesterday seizing 338 pounds of marijuana in those cases. CBP officers also identified and apprehended seven people on a variety of immigration related violations, one fugitive, one agriculture violation and one seizure of counterfeit DVDs.
CBP Field Operations is responsible for securing our borders at the ports of entry. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers' primary mission is anti-terrorism; they screen all people, vehicles, and goods entering the United States, while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel into and out of the United States. Their mission also includes carrying out traditional border-related responsibilities, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration law, protecting the nation's food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases, and enforcing trade laws.
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.