SANTA TERESA, N.M -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers working at the Santa Teresa port of entry seized 8.5 pounds of cocaine Saturday.
“This is an unfortunate trend in that the smuggler was traveling with his wife and young child in the vehicle in an apparent effort to deflect attention away from the drug smuggling attempt,” said CBP Santa Teresa Port Director Ray Provencio. “Smugglers will occasionally attempt to blend in with legitimate travelers by using family members to help mask their true intent.”
The seizure was made Saturday afternoon when a 2004 Ford Lobo with two adult passengers and a young child entered the port from Mexico. A CBP officer initiated a secondary examination and noticed anomalies in the appearance of the backseat of the truck that led to the discovery of a hidden non-factory compartment. The CBP officer probed a bundle found in the compartment and recovered a substance which tested positive for cocaine.
A total of three cocaine-filled bundles were recovered from the hidden compartment. The drugs weighed a total of 8.5 pounds.
CBP officers arrested the driver, a 38-year-old Mexican male from Chihuahua City, Chihuahua, Mexico. He was turned over to ICE HSI special agents to face charges in connection with the failed smuggling attempt. His 29-year-old spouse and 5-year old child were processed and returned to Mexico.
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.