CBP Officers Bust Three Body Carriers with Ecstasy and Cocaine during the Weekend
El Paso, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at the El Paso port of entry made an ecstasy seizure on Friday evening and a cocaine seizure on Saturday. In both cases the drugs were hidden on the bodies of the violators. In addition to the body carrier busts, CBP officers working at El Paso area ports of entry made five narcotic seizures over the weekend.
"We are proud of our officers who work tirelessly in apprehending all types of criminals. While smugglers come up with creative ways to conceal drugs, our officers finds ways to locate the contraband," said Bill Molaski, CBP El Paso port director.
The Friday ecstasy seizure was made at 7:10 p.m. when a 22-year-old male applied for entry to the United States via the pedestrian lanes at the Bridge of the Americas International crossing. A CBP officer working at the primary inspection station noticed an unexplained bulge in the groin area of the man and initiated an inspection. The CBP officer found a bundle hidden in the groin area of the man. A further examination revealed that the tape wrapped bundle contained pills. CBP officers tested the pills and received a positive match for ecstasy. A total of 2,017 pills were found.
CBP officers at the port arrested the driver, Adrian Gutierrez, of El Paso, Texas. He was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents to face federal charges including importation of a controlled substance and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. He was booked into the El Paso County Jail where he is being held without bond.
The Saturday cocaine seizure was made in the vehicular inspection area of the Ysleta International crossing at 9:37 a.m. A CBP officer at the primary inspection booth noticed inconsistencies in the statements from the driver and passengers of a 2009 Toyota Camry. The vehicle was escorted to a secondary inspection area for an intensive inspection. CBP officers discovered bundles strapped around the abdomen area of the front seat passenger (three bundles) and the legs of the rear seat passenger (two bundles). The contents of the five bundles tested positive for cocaine with a total weight of 12.36 pounds.
CBP officers at the port arrested both passengers, 40-year-old Elizabeth Avila Aguirre and 22-year-old Priscilla Garcia of El Paso, Texas and turned them over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents to face federal charges including importation of a controlled substance and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. Both were booked into the El Paso County Jail where they are being held without bond.
In addition to the drug seizures, CBP officers recorded 47 immigration violations at area ports for the period, including 40 intended immigrants and seven imposters. Intended immigrants will use a legally issued border-crossing card (laser visa) to live or work in the U.S., which is not authorized. They also lose their documents and are generally returned to Mexico. Imposters generally will use a legitimate entry document assigned to another person and present it as their own. Violators generally lose their documents, can be prosecuted and go to jail and/or are returned to Mexico.
CBP officers working at area ports made a total of seven fugitive apprehensions.
In addition to the drug busts, CBP officers working at ports of entry in El Paso, West Texas and New Mexico made six seizures of agricultural items. Violators paid $1,425 in penalties in association with the violations. Prohibited food products seized included pork tamales, apples, sugarcane, and a live cactus plant.
CBP 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.