PRESIDIO, Texas -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers working at the Presidio port of entry seized 5.3 pounds of cocaine Thursday evening. The drugs were concealed within the battery of the car driven by a traveler. The street value of the drugs is $160,000.
“This seizure reminds us all that a small amount of illegal drugs can be hidden anywhere in a vehicle,” said John Deputy, CBP Presidio Port Director. “Even a small amount of cocaine can reap handsome profits for the smuggler so this is a significant bust.”
The seizure was made just before 7 p.m. Thursday March 12 when a lone male driving a 2002 Ford Escape applied for entry at the primary inspection station. The CBP officer noted that the vehicle had no license plate and the man stated that he had just purchased the vehicle the day before. The vehicle and driver were referred to secondary for an intensive inspection.
In secondary a CBP narcotics detector dog alerted to the front area of the vehicle. A Z-Portal scan of the vehicle revealed anomalies in the battery and after probing the battery a white substance was discovered. A field test of the substance was positive for the properties of cocaine.
CBP officers took custody of the man, 32-year-old Raul Rene Murillo Tello of Chihuahua, Mexico. He was arrested and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement HSI agents in connection with the failed smuggling attempt.
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.