SANTA TERESA, N.M. -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers working at the Santa Teresa port of entry seized seven pounds of cocaine Sunday. The estimated street value of the seized cocaine is $224,000.
“This was a deeply concealed drug load,” said Ray Provencio, CBP Santa Teresa Port Director. “Smugglers worked hard to hide this cocaine. CBP officers worked harder to find it.”
The seizure was made just before 9 a.m. Sunday when a 2001 Jeep Cherokee entered the port from Mexico. A CBP officer at the primary inspection booth selected the vehicle for a secondary exam.
CBP officers in the secondary exam area placed the vehicle on a lift and examined the undercarriage and engine area of the SUV. They noted a number of anomalies in the appearance of the engine area. CBP officers removed the oil pan and located three bundles hidden inside. The contents of the packages tested positive for cocaine. The combined weight of the bundles was seven pounds.
CBP officers arrested the driver, 26-year-old Jesus Antonio Bustillos Ramirez of Chihuahua City, Chihuahua, Mexico. He was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations 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.