PHARR, Texas—U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility discovered that a commercial shipment of mangoes contained an unmanifested ingredient that would spoil any tropical fruit salad-- more than five tons of alleged marijuana.
“This is an extraordinary seizure; our officers did a tremendous job in the interception of these narcotics. Smugglers are getting very creative with their smuggling attempts, but our officers remain vigilant and committed to our CBP mission,” said Port Director Efrain Solis Jr., Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry.
“This team effort is a credit to the strong partnerships shared by DHS agencies like HSI and CBP in south Texas, " said Shane Folden, Special Agent in Charge of HSI in San Antonio. The seizure of more than 10,000 pounds of marijuana should send a strong message to criminal organizations: DHS will not tolerate the exploitation of our borders.”
On July 19, CBP officers assigned to the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility encountered a tractor/trailer hauling a commercial shipment of mangoes from Mexico. The trailer was driven by a 32-year-old male Mexican citizen from Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico. After the conveyance was referred for a non-intrusive imaging inspection (NII) and with the help of a canine team, officers discovered 19,584 bundles containing a total of 10,566 pounds of alleged marijuana concealed within the shipment of mangoes. The alleged narcotics carry an estimated street value of $2,111,222.
CBP OFO seized the drugs, arrested the driver and turned him over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents for further investigation.
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.