SANTA TERESA, N.M -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers working at the Santa Teresa port of entry seized 111 pounds of marijuana early Friday morning. The estimated street value of the seized contraband is $88,800.
“This was an unusual case in that the smuggler was traveling as a passenger in the vehicle in an apparent attempt to deflect attention away from the drug smuggling attempt,” said CBP Santa Teresa Port Director Ray Provencio. “Smugglers will sometimes attempt to blend in with legitimate travelers by using family members to help disguise their true intent.”
The seizure was made early Friday when a 2011 Chevrolet Matiz with two adult passengers entered the port from Mexico. A CBP officer initiated a secondary examination and noticed an anomaly in the appearance of the floor of the vehicle. The CBP officer probed the suspect location and recovered a substance which tested positive for marijuana.
A total of 99 marijuana-filled bundles were recovered from the hidden floor compartment. The drugs weighed 111 pounds.
CBP officers took custody of the passenger, an 18-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. The 21-year-old brother was 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.
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.