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  4. CBP Officers Find Deeply Concealed Cocaine Load at El Paso Port of Entry

CBP Officers Find Deeply Concealed Cocaine Load at El Paso Port of Entry

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EL PASO, Texas -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers working at the El Paso port of entry seized 27 pounds of cocaine Sunday. The drugs were concealed in a metal compartment within a fuel tank.

Metal compartment visible in fuel tank.
Metal compartment visible in fuel tank.


“Smugglers spent considerable time and effort to conceal this shipment,” said Beverly Good, CBP El Paso Port Director. “Because of the hard work of diligent and dedicated CBP officers this shipment did not reach its intended destination.”


The seizure was made just before 12 p.m. when a 2006 Nissan Frontier with a single female driver entered the Bridge of the Americas international crossing from Mexico. A CBP officer working at the primary inspection station noted several issues during the preliminary interview and directed the driver to the secondary inspection area. CBP officers used a number of tools to search the vehicle including a fiber optic scope to look into the fuel tank. CBP officers spotted a non-factory metal box within the tank. The fuel tank was removed and opened revealing a fabricated metal box inside which held 10 bundles of cocaine.


CBP officers took custody of the driver, a 44-year-old citizen of Mexico. She was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement HSI special agents to face charges associated with the failed drug smuggling attempt.

Bundles removed from compartment.
Bundles removed from compartment.


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.

Last Modified: February 3, 2021