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CBP Officers At Santa Teresa Port Seize 600+ Pounds Of Marijuana

Release Date: 
February 2, 2015

SANTA TERESA, N.M. -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operation officers working at the Santa port of entry made two marijuana seizures totaling 614 pounds on Super Bowl Sunday. The drugs were concealed in the ceiling of a van and the bumper of a car.

“This is a very large amount of drugs that did not reach its intended destination because of the hard work of CBP officers,” said CBP Santa Teresa Port Director Ray Provencio. “While much of the nation was preparing to watch the Super Bowl CBP officers were working hard to keep our country safe.”

Drug bundles in ceiling area of van

Drug bundles in ceiling area of van

The larger seizure was made shortly after 3 p.m. when a GMC van entered the port from Mexico. A CBP officer at the primary inspection station initiated an exam and noted an anomaly in the appearance of the vehicle. The CBP officer scanned the vehicle with a “Buster” density meter and received high readings consistent with hidden contraband when scanning the ceiling of the vehicle.

The vehicle was moved to the secondary exam area where another CBP officer also received high “Buster” readings when scanning the ceiling area. CBP drug sniffing dog “Bora” also alerted to the interior ceiling of the van while screening the vehicle for drugs.

CBP officers continued the exam and located 469 marijuana-filled bundles hidden in the ceiling of the van. The drugs weighed 527 pounds and have an estimated street value of $421,600.

CBP officers arrested the driver of the car, 29-year-old Marcos Antonio Pargas of Los Lunas, N.M. 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.

The smaller seizure was made shortly before 9 a.m. when a Buick Rendezvous entered the port from Mexico. A CBP officer at the primary inspection station scanned the vehicle with a “Buster” density meter and received high readings consistent with hidden contraband when checking the bumper.

Drug bundles in bumper of car

Drug bundles in bumper of car

The vehicle was moved to the secondary exam area. CBP drug sniffing dog “Bora” also alerted to the bumper of the car while screening the vehicle for drugs.

CBP officers continued the exam and located 80 marijuana-filled bundles hidden in the rear bumper. The drugs weighed 87 pounds and have an estimated street value of $69,600.

CBP officers arrested the driver of the car, 30-year-old Christian Moises Estrada of El Paso, Texas. 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.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017