LAREDO, Texas –Amid an onslaught of Holy Week traffic, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Laredo Port of Entry this weekend discovered a vehicle with more than gas in the tank-- $212,500 in cocaine.
“Smuggling groups sometimes attempt to exploit peak travel periods like Holy Week to ply their illicit commerce but our CBP officers maintained their vigilance, applied their experience, inspection skills and seized a significant load of hard narcotics,” said Port Director Gregory Alvarez, Laredo Port of Entry.
The seizure occurred on Mar. 19 at Gateway to the Americas Bridge. A CBP officer referred a 2003 Mercury Grand Marquis driven by a 78-year-old male U.S. citizen for a secondary inspection. During the examination, CBP officers discovered 10 containers in the gas tank filled with a total of nearly 28 pounds of alleged cocaine. The narcotics have an estimated street value of $212,500.
CBP officers arrested the driver and turned him over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) special agents for further investigation.
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.