EL PASO, Texas -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the El Paso port of entry made six marijuana seizures Tuesday. CBP officers confiscated approximately 565.57 pounds of marijuana with an approximate street value of $452,456.
“These are outstanding seizures; the dedication and vigilance on the part of our frontline officers make these seizures possible,” said Francis Brown, CBP Acting Port Director El Paso. “CBP officers continue to impress me with their efforts and enforcement actions that produce these cases.”
The largest of the seizures was made at the Bridge of the Americas international crossing at approximately 8:38 a.m. when a 2006 Chevrolet HHR arrived at the port from Mexico. A CBP officer at the primary inspection booth noticed inconsistencies in statements given by the driver and referred the vehicle to secondary for further examination. CBP drug sniffing dog “Pali” searched the vehicle and alerted to the floor area. CBP officers then scanned the vehicle using the Z-Portal x-ray system and noted anomalies in the appearance of the floor. CBP officers discovered a false floor compartment containing 82 bundles. The contents of the bundles tested positive for marijuana with an approximate weight of 123.88 pounds.
CBP officers arrested the driver, 52-year-old Mateo Gustavo Gonzalez Rivera, of Chihuahua City, Mexico. He was turned over to ICE-HSI special agents after the case was accepted for federal prosecution.
In addition to the marijuana seizures, CBP officers took two people into custody who were being sought on outstanding probation violation and a weapons offense warrants.
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.