EL PASO, Texas -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers working at the El Paso port of entry seized 588 pounds of marijuana in five seizures Thursday. The estimated street value of the seized contraband is $470,400.
“These seizures are good examples of the lengths smugglers will go to in attempts to defeat the CBP inspection process,” said Beverly Good, CBP El Paso Port Director.
One of the larger marijuana seizures Thursday was made at approximately 7:30 p.m. after a 2000 Chevrolet Silverado entered the Ysleta international crossing from Mexico. A CBP officer working at the primary inspection booth noted that the driver appeared nervous and selected the vehicle for a secondary exam.
CBP officers scanned the vehicle with the Z-Portal x-ray system and spotted anomalies in the tires of the car. CBP drug sniffing dog “Tessa” searched the vehicle and alerted to the tires. CBP officers continued their exam and discovered that all four tires were equipped with marijuana-filled metal collars attached to the wheels. The compartments contained a total of 124 pounds of marijuana.
CBP officers arrested the driver, 26-year-old Manuel Francisco Colunga Flores of Juarez, Mexico. He was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement HSI agents to face charges associated with the failed smuggling attempt.
In addition to this marijuana seizure, CBP officers working at the El Paso port of entry also made four more marijuana seizures totaling 464 pounds Thursday.
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.