Columbus, New Mexico - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Columbus, N.M. port of entry seized 5.3 pounds of marijuana Thursday morning. The drugs were hidden in a backpack being carried by a 14-year-old girl.
The seizure was made just before 7 a.m. when the juvenile entered the port from Mexico as a pedestrian. CBP officers selected the girl for a secondary exam and while searching her backpack they spotted several rectangular packages.
Officers removed a total of five packages from the backpack. The contents of the packages tested positive for marijuana. The juvenile drug smuggler, a U.S. citizen originally from Surprise, Ariz., was remanded for prosecution.
"Young teens are often enticed to become involved in drug smuggling without realizing that the consequences of their actions can impact their lives for years to come," said Charles Wright, CBP Columbus port director. "The message this seizure sends is that CBP officers at Columbus port are vigilant and thorough in their examination of all arriving people, regardless of age."
CBP officers working at the Columbus and Antelope Wells ports of entry have made nine marijuana seizures and four seizures of smuggled prescription medications since the beginning of the year. During the same time a year ago CBP officers at the two ports had made a single drug seizure.
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 significant 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.