El Paso, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at the Bridge of the Americas in El Paso and the Santa Teresa port of entry in New Mexico seized 1,460 pounds of marijuana in a pair of large seizures this weekend. Two men were arrested in connection with the drug busts.
The Santa Teresa seizure occurred Friday just before 1 p.m. when a 2007 Chevrolet Avalanche with a family of five entered the port from Mexico. A CBP officer scanned the vehicle with a "Buster" density meter and received high readings consistent with hidden contraband. CBP drug sniffing dog "Dolar" searched the vehicle and alerted to the presence of drugs. CBP officers then scanned the vehicle with an x-ray system which helped identify anomalies in the appearance of the floor and sides of the vehicle. CBP officers removed a total of 260 marijuana filled bundles from hidden compartments. The drugs weighed 582 pounds.
CBP officers arrested 36-year-old Hugo Antonio Iguanzo Olivas of Cuauhtémoc, Chihuahua, Mexico. He was turned over to HSI Special agents to face federal charges including importation of a controlled substance and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. The spouse and three children were released.
The Bridge of the Americas seizure occurred Saturday just after 10 a.m. when a bus with eight passengers entered the port from Mexico. CBP drug sniffing dog "Yuran" searched the bus and alerted to the presence of drugs. CBP officers then scanned the vehicle with an x-ray system which helped identify anomalies in the rear of the bus. CBP officers removed a total of 690 marijuana filled bundles from a compartment near the rest room. The drugs weighed 878 pounds.
CBP officers arrested 46-year-old Miguel Angel Huchin Magana of Cedalla, Guanajuato, Mexico. He was turned over to HSI special agents to face federal charges including importation of a controlled substance and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. The passengers cleared CBP inspection and were allowed to continue their journey.
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.