Laredo, Texas –Halloween unfortunately will be a little less sweet for two toddlers after U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Laredo Port of Entry on Oct. 29 seized $1.5 million in alleged cocaine hidden in a vehicle driven by a Laredo mother with her children in tow.
“Our frontline officers have definitely seen it all in term of smuggling methods but it still strikes a nerve to encounter an alleged attempt by a parent to move hard narcotics with their children present,” said Acting Port Director Joseph Misenhelter, Laredo Port of Entry.
The seizure occurred on Oct. 29 at Gateway to the Americas Bridge when CBP officers referred a 2003 Chevy Tahoe driven by a 24-year-old female U.S. citizen from Laredo, Texas with her two toddler U.S. citizen boys, ages 15 months and nearly two months, respectively, for a secondary examination. During the examination, CBP officers discovered 18 packages containing a total of 47 pounds of alleged cocaine hidden within the vehicle. The estimated street value for the narcotics is $1.5 million.
CBP officers seized narcotics, vehicle, arrested the woman and turned her over to Homeland Security Investigations special agents for further investigation. The two children were turned over to a family member.
CBP Field Operations at Laredo Port of Entry is part of the South Texas Campaign, which leverages federal, state and local resources to combat transnational criminal organizations.
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.