Santa Teresa, N.M. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Santa Teresa port of entry seized 501.3 pounds of marijuana late Monday night. The drugs were hidden in a vehicle that was occupied by two 18-year-old females from Albuquerque, N.M.
The seizure was made at approximately 11:30 p.m. when a 1998 Ford Expedition entered the facility from Mexico. CBP officers at the primary inspection station selected the vehicle for a secondary examination. During the secondary examination CBP officers located false compartments in the floor of the vehicle as well as the fuel tank of the SUV. CBP officers removed numerous marijuana filled bundles from the floor of the vehicle as well as from welded metal boxes that were hidden in the fuel tank.
"Drug trafficking organizations will utilize teens, families and even senior citizens in their attempts to smuggle drugs into the United States," said Charles Wright, CBP Santa Teresa port director. "The vigilance of the CBP staff at the Santa Teresa port prevented a sizeable drug load from making it to its intended destination."
CBP officers arrested the driver of the SUV, Jazmine Garcia, and a passenger, Felicia Martinez. Both women were turned over to the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents to face federal prosecution in relation to 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.