EL PASO, TEXAS—U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers working at the El Paso Port of Entry seized 207 pounds of marijuana Monday. The estimated street value of the seized contraband is $165,600.
"Smugglers filled most every available space in this SUV with marijuana," said Hector Mancha, CBP El Paso Port Director. "Hard working CBP officers removed drugs from no less than five different hidden compartments in this vehicle."
The seizure was made just before 6 a.m. Monday when a 2003 Chevrolet Tahoe arrived at the downtown Paso Del Norte international crossing. CBP officers initiated an examination of the vehicle during which CBP drug sniffing dog "Hasko" alerted to the floor and seats. CBP officers scanned the vehicle with a Z-Portal X-ray system and spotted numerous anomalies consistent with hidden contraband. CBP officers recovered 192 marijuana-filled bundles from hidden compartments in the driver and passenger doors, dashboard, quarter panels and center console floor area. The drugs weighed 207 pounds.
CBP officers arrested the driver, 20-year-old Jesus Eduardo Navarro of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. He was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement HSI special agents and booked into the El Paso County Jail to face federal drug smuggling charges.
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.