El Paso, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the El Paso port of entry made a 39.5 pound cocaine seizure Tuesday. Two people were arrested in the case.
The seizure was made at the Bridge of the Americas late Tuesday morning when a 2007 Renault Megane II arrived at the port from Mexico. CBP officers and canine teams were conducting a sweep of vehicles waiting in line at the international crossing when CBP drug sniffing dog "Outlaw" alerted to the vehicle. CBP officers launched an exam and located a non-factory comportment in the firewall area of the car. They drilled into the compartment and removed a white substance that tested positive for cocaine. CBP officers removed a total of 22 cocaine-filled bundles from the compartment.
CBP officers arrested two people who were in the car. They include the driver, 39-year-old Fernando Balderrama Diaz and 24-year-old Silvia Lujan Luna. Both are residents of Chihuahua City, Mexico. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents took custody of both and booked them into the El Paso County Jail to face federal prosecution. Both remain in custody and are being held without bond.
CBP officers at El Paso area ports of entry made three more drug busts Tuesday seizing 211 pounds of marijuana in those cases. CBP officers also identified and apprehended 11 people on a variety of immigration related violations, five fugitives, three agriculture violations and one seizure of prohibited prescription medications.
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.