COLUMBUS, NM -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers working at the Columbus port of entry seized 719.5 pounds of marijuana Friday. The estimated street value of the drug load is $575,600.
“Smugglers went to great lengths in an effort to disguise this drug shipment, but CBP officers at the port worked harder to find it,” said Robert Reza, CBP Columbus Port Director.
The events leading to the seizure began shortly after 3 p.m. Friday when a 1999 Freightliner tractor towing a flatbed trailer loaded with a “belly dump” arrived at the port from Mexico. CBP officers working at the port noted a number of issues with the shipment and initiated a secondary exam during which they spotted marijuana bundles hidden within the beams of the cargo shipment. A CBP drug sniffing dog searched the vehicle and also alerted to the belly dump.
CBP officers continued their exam. A total of 16 steel containers were removed from the side support beams of the belly dump. The containers were cut open and 17 large blocks of compressed marijuana were removed. The drugs and conveyance were seized. No arrests were made and the investigation continues.
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.