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CBP Officers Discover Drug Load in Shipment of Rolled Metal

Release Date: 
October 12, 2016

EL PASO, Texas -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers working at the El Paso port of entry seized 648 pounds of marijuana late Friday. The drugs were concealed in spools of sheet metal being imported from Mexico.

“This is an unusual concealment method that was unraveled by the good work of vigilant CBP officers,” said Severiano Solis, acting CBP El Paso Port Director. “Smugglers will sometimes try to conceal their drugs in legitimate cargo in an attempt to transport contraband across the border.”

Drug bundles in metal spool.
Drug bundles in metal spool.

The drug seizure was made just after 5 p.m. when a 1999 Freightliner towing a 1992 Wabash trailer entered the Ysleta cargo facility from Mexico. CBP officer selected the shipment of rolled sheet metal for an intensive exam. CBP officers x-rayed the shipment and spotted anomalies in the commodity. A CBP drug sniffing dog searched the shipment and alerted to the presence of drugs in the spools. CBP officers continued their exam and removed 28 bundles of marijuana from specially crafted compartments inside the spools. No arrests were made and the investigation continues.

The seizure was one of eight made by area CBP officers during the holiday weekend period. They seized 1,402 pounds of marijuana, 18.5 pounds of methamphetamine, and 12 pounds of cocaine. CBP officers also made nine NCIC arrests and stopped seven people who were transporting prohibited agricultural items from Mexico to the U.S.

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.

Last modified: 
March 16, 2017