PHARR, Texas — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Pharr and Hidalgo International Bridges arrested two females in connection with two separate, unrelated failed smuggling attempts involving a total of $2,155,000 worth of alleged cocaine.
“These two independent interceptions of hard narcotics both involved the utilization of young women as transporters and due to our officers’ diligence and persistence, they zeroed in on the narcotics,” said Efrain Solis Jr., port director, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas. “These two young ladies will now face federal charges in U.S. District Court.”
The most significant of the two seizures occurred on Saturday afternoon, after CBP officers working at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge encountered a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt driven by 19-year-old female Mexican citizen from Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico. The woman presented her Mexican border-crossing card and was referred for a more thorough examination. During inspection, and with the use of a vehicle non-intrusive imaging system, officers discovered packages of suspected narcotics hidden within the vehicle. CBP officers removed and seized 25 packages of alleged cocaine weighing approximately 62.3 pounds with an estimated street value of $1,994,000 and seized the Cobalt as well.
The second seizure occurred on Thursday, at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge. CBP officers came in contact with an 18-year-old female Mexican citizen, also from Reynosa, referred her for inspection and discovered two packages containing a total of five pounds of alleged cocaine within the 2009 Ford Focus she was driving. CBP seized the cocaine which carries an estimated street value of $161,000 and also seized the vehicle.
CBP officers arrested both women who were subsequently released to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations agents for further investigation.
CBP Field Operations at Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry is part of the South Texas Campaign, which leverages federal, state and local resources to combat transnational criminal organizations.
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.