EL PASO, Texas -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers working at the El Paso port of entry seized 5.45 pounds of cocaine Thursday. The drugs were hidden in the front differential of a 4x4 pick-up truck.
“Smugglers will try to conceal their contraband in any space they can find in a vehicle,” said Beverly Good, CBP El Paso Port Director. “CBP’s layered enforcement combining officer expertise, tools and technology, and canine support will often identify these smuggling attempts.”
The seizure was made just after noon Thursday when a 2001 Chevrolet Silverado arrived at the Bridge of the Americas international crossing from Mexico. CBP officers were performing a pre-primary sweep of vehicles waiting in the queue when they selected the vehicle for a more thorough exam. CBP officers noted anomalies in the appearance of the undercarriage of the vehicle. A CBP drug sniffing canine searched the vehicle and alerted to the presence of drugs. An x-ray exam also identified a suspicious area in the front axle area of the truck. CBP officers continued the exam and found that the front differential contained 12 bundles of cocaine.
CBP officers took custody of the driver, a 23-year-old citizen of Mexico. He was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement HSI agents to face charges associated with the failed drug smuggling attempt.
In addition to this seizure, CBP officers working at the El Paso port of entry made four other drug seizures on Thursday.
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.
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.