EL PASO, Texas -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers working at the El Paso port of entry seized 38 pounds of cocaine Wednesday. The estimated street value of the seized contraband is $1,216,000.
The seizure was made Wednesday evening at the Paso Del Norte crossing when a 2004 Dodge Dart Frontier with an adult male driver entered the port from Mexico. A CBP officer initiated a secondary examination and noticed anomalies in the appearance of the vehicle. A “Buster” density meter was used to examine the car producing high readings consistent with hidden contraband. A CBP canine team was called to screen the vehicle and the officer received an alert for the presence of narcotics. A Z-Portal scan was also used and the images revealed anomalies within the rocker panels of the vehicle. CBP officers continued their exam and located 15 cocaine-filled bundles hidden in the rocker panels of the car.
“The layers of enforcement CBP officers employ on a daily basis helped to identify and pinpoint this drug load,” said CBP El Paso Assistant Port Director Barry Miller. “This is a sizable load which did not make it to its intended destination because of the vigilance of CBP officers.”
CBP officers arrested the driver, a 34-year-old U.S. citizen male from El Paso. He was turned over to ICE HSI special agents to face charges in connection with the failed smuggling attempt.
In addition to the cocaine seizure, CBP officers at the El Paso port of entry also seized 300 pounds of marijuana in two additional busts and they recorded an NCIC fugitive arrest. Additional enforcement activity included the seizure of counterfeit cosmetics and athletic apparel. 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.