SANTA TERESA, N.M. -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers working at the Santa Teresa port of entry seized 607 pounds of marijuana. The estimated street value of the seized contraband is $485,600.
The seizure occurred yesterday at 11:45 a.m. when a 2001 Dodge Ram 2500 pickup truck pulling an empty flatbed trailer entered the port from Mexico. A CBP officer at the primary inspection station selected the vehicle for a secondary exam. CBP officers inspected the trailer floor with a density meter and received abnormal readings. CBP officers then scanned the vehicle with an x-ray system which revealed areas of concern in the floor area of the trailer. CBP officers continued their exam and found 364 marijuana filled bundles in a false floor compartment of the trailer.
“Smugglers put a lot of time and energy into creating a trailer that appeared normal at first glance,” said Ray Provencio, CBP Santa Teresa Port Director, “I applaud our officers for their work ethic and their vigilance in this enforcement action.”
CBP officers arrested the driver of the vehicle. He is identified as 25-year-old Fidel Meza Utrera of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. He was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations special agents to face charges associated with the failed smuggling attempt.
CBP Field Operations is responsible for securing our borders at the ports of entry. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers’ primary mission is anti-terrorism; they screen all people, vehicles, and goods entering the United States, while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel into and out of the United States. Their mission also includes carrying out traditional border-related responsibilities, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration law, protecting the nation’s food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases, and enforcing trade laws.
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.