El Paso, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the El Paso port of entry made four marijuana seizures Thursday including one where the drugs were found concealed in beer and soda cans.
"Smuggling organizations will use every imaginable concealment method to try to get narcotics through our international ports of entry," said William Molaski, Port Director for CBP in El Paso. "To most people, this was just another woman crossing the port of entry with beer and sodas; however to the well trained CBP narcotic detector dog, it was a smuggling attempt."
The seizure was made at approximately 8:30 p.m. at the Ysleta international crossing in El Paso. A 27-year-old woman driving a 2005 Dodge NXT arrived from Juarez and told officers she had nothing to declare other than some cases of beer and soda. CBP officers initiated an exam of the vehicle during which CBP drug sniffing dog "Lady" alerted to the beer and soda cans.
CBP officers opened several of the cans and found a green leafy substance. The contests of the cans tested positive for marijuana. CBP officers removed a total of 37.58 pounds of marijuana.
CBP officers arrested the driver, Wendy Anne Brown of Ruidoso Downs, N.M., and then turned her over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents after federal prosecution was secured. The suspect is currently being detained at the El Paso County Jail facing importation of a controlled substance and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance charges.
In addition to this seizure, CBP officers at the El Paso port of entry also seized slightly more than 83 pounds of marijuana in three additional busts. CBP officers at the El Paso port also recorded eight immigration violations and one agriculture bust 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.