El Paso, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at El Paso area ports of entry confiscated a total of 3,694.31 pounds of marijuana in ten seizures with a value of approximately $2,955,200 for the period of Sept. 23-26.
"Trying to hide narcotics which cause harm within our communities in a shipment of plastic scrap shows how desperate the criminal organizations have become," said Bill Molaski, CBP El Paso port director, "I applaud our officers for their work ethic and their vigilance in this enforcement action."
The largest of the ten seizures was made at approximately 2:50 p.m. on Friday when a 1993 Volvo tractor hauling a trailer containing plastic-granule scrap entered the Ysleta cargo facility from Mexico. CBP officers selected the vehicle for a gamma-ray exam and identified several anomalies in the appearance of the scrap.
The vehicle was moved to the inspection dock where CBP drug sniffing dog "Lady" searched the boxes containing the scrap and alerted to the boxes. CBP officers inspected the boxes and found cellophane wrapped bundles concealed within the plastic scrap. CBP officers removed a total of 582 bundles. The contents of the bundles tested positive for marijuana with an approximate weight of 3,367.32 pounds. The driver and contraband were turned over to the El Paso Sheriffs department.
In addition to the drug seizures, CBP officers seized $11,099.00 and a taser gun in two separate incidents during outbound operations at El Paso ports of entry for the period.
CBP officers also recorded 55 immigration violations at area ports this week, including 43 intended immigrants and 12 imposters. Intended immigrants will use a legally issued border-crossing card, or laser visa, to live or work in the U.S., which is not authorized.
They also lose their documents and are generally returned to Mexico. Imposters generally will use a legitimate entry document assigned to another person and present it as their own. Violators generally lose their documents, can be prosecuted and go to jail and/or are returned to Mexico.
CBP officers working at area ports made a total of 13 fugitive apprehensions during the period.
CBP officers working at ports of entry in El Paso, West Texas and New Mexico made five seizures of agricultural items. Violators paid $1,125 in penalties in association with the violations. Prohibited food products seized included pork chorizo, pork ham, pork bologna, apples, avocados and fresh quince.
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.