CBP Officers Generate Numerous Drug Seizures
EL PASO, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at El Paso area ports of entry made several cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana seizures during the past week and Labor Day weekend. CBP officers confiscated a total of 1,691.78 pounds of marijuana, 24 pounds of cocaine and 1.1 pounds of methamphetamines.
Two of the seizures contained a combination of two different narcotics within each vehicle. The seizures were two of 12 drug busts CBP officers made during the Labor Day period.
"While many area families were enjoying their holiday, CBP officers were busy protecting our Nation at the ports of entry" said Ana Hinojosa, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Director of Field Operations in El Paso.
In the first combo seizure of the holiday period, CBP officers at the Presidio port of entry confiscated 83.16 pounds of marijuana and 1.1 pounds of crystal methamphetamine on Sunday. The seizure was made after a 1998 Chevy Malibu entered the port from Mexico. A CBP officer at the primary inspection booth noticed inconsistencies on the floor area of the vehicle. CBP drug sniffing dog "Monroe" searched the vehicle and alerted to the floor area. The vehicle was taken to a separate inspection area where an extensive inspection of the vehicle was conducted and a false floor was discovered. CBP officers retrieved 75 packages concealed in the compartment. The contents of 74 bundles tested positive for marijuana and the contents of one of the bundles tested positive for methamphetamine properties.
CBP officers arrested 27-year-old Crystal Lynn Mercer of San Antonio, Texas. She was turned over to U.S.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents after the case was accepted for federal prosecution to face federal charges including importation of a controlled substance and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.
In the second combo seizure of the holiday period, CBP officers at the Bridge of the Americas in the El Paso Port of Entry confiscated 65.60 pounds of marijuana and 24.60 pounds of cocaine on Monday. The seizure was made after a 1997 Dodge Ram pick-up entered the port from Mexico. A CBP officer at the primary inspection booth noticed inconsistencies on the rear door of the vehicle. CBP drug sniffing dog "Udo" searched the vehicle and alerted to the front passenger area. The vehicle was taken to a separate inspection area where an extensive inspection of the vehicle was conducted. CBP officers retrieved 70 packages concealed in the rear doors. The contents of 60 bundles tested positive for marijuana and the contents of ten bundles tested positive for cocaine.
CBP officers at the port arrested the driver, Liliana Resendez of El Paso, Texas and turned her over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents to face federal charges including importation of a controlled substance and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. She was booked into the El Paso County Jail where she is being held without bond.
In addition to the drug busts, CBP officers working at ports of entry in El Paso, West Texas and New Mexico made a total of five seizures of agricultural items. Violators paid $1,450 in penalties in association with the violations. Prohibited food products seized included apples, peaches, live plants, pork bologna, pork meat and pork skins.
CBP officers recorded 95 immigration violations at area ports this week including 18 imposters. Imposters generally will use a legitimate entry document assigned to another person and present it as their own. Violators generally lose their documents, can be prosecuted and go to jail and/or are returned to Mexico.
CBP officers seized documents from 77 intended immigrants. In these cases, individuals will use a legally issued border-crossing card (laser visa) to live or work in the U.S., which is not authorized. They also lose their documents and are generally returned to Mexico.
CBP officers working at area ports made a total of 28 fugitive apprehensions during the period.
CBP Field Operations is responsible for securing our borders at the ports of entry. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers' primary mission is anti-terrorism; they screen all people, vehicles, and goods entering the United States, while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel into and out of the United States. Their mission also includes carrying out traditional border-related responsibilities, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration law, protecting the nation's food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases, and enforcing trade laws.
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.