EL PASO, Texas -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers working at the El Paso port of entry seized 42 pounds of marijuana yesterday afternoon. The drugs were hidden inside the spare tire of a Dodge Ram 1500 pick-up that was using the Stanton SENTRI lane.
“The SENTRI is designed for trusted travelers but it is not a free pass,” said Beverly Good, CBP El Paso Port Director. “CBP officers trust but verify that users are not compromising the intent of the lane.”
The seizure was made at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, when a 2010 Dodge Ram 1500 with a U.S. citizen driver entered the Stanton SENTRI lane international crossing. The primary CBP officer referred the vehicle to secondary for an intensive inspection. CBP drug sniffing dog “Basa” searched the vehicle and alerted to the odor of narcotics in the spare tire. Break down of the spare tire resulted in the discovery of 87 bundles containing a substance which field tested positive for the properties of marijuana.
The driver, a 37-year-old U.S. citizen from Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico was arrested and turned over to Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) agents to face federal prosecution for narcotics smuggling.
“The combination of CBP officer expertise, and a drug sniffing dog contributed to this successful enforcement action,” said Beverly Good, El Paso Port Director. “Our layered inspectional process is geared to interdict such attempts.”
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.