EL PASO, TEXAS -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operation officers working at the El Paso port of entry seized 166 pounds of marijuana Sunday. The drugs have an estimated street value of $132,800.
“CBP uses several layers of enforcement to screen arriving traffic to include officer expertise, canines and technology,” said CBP El Paso Port Director Beverly Good. “Many of those layers played a role in stopping this large drug load.
The seizure was made at approximately 11 a.m. at the Paso Del Norte international crossing when CBP officers were performing an enforcement sweep of vehicles waiting in line. While CBP officers were talking to drivers waiting in line CBP drug sniffing dog “Sita” alerted to the tire of a 2002 Ford Explorer in the queue.
CBP officers used a “Buster” density meter to scan the tires and received high readings consistent with hidden contraband. CBP officers then scanned the vehicle with the Z-portal x-ray system and spotted anomalies in the tires and fuel tank of the vehicle. CBP officers continued their exam and located 150 marijuana filled bundles in the four tires and fuel tank of the car.
CBP officers arrested the driver of the car, 35-year-old Maria Isabel Moreno of Las Cruces, NM. She was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations special agents to face charges associated with the failed smuggling attempt.
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.