CBP Officers Seize 67 Pounds of Marijuana at the Stanton Street international Bridge Crossing
El Paso, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers assigned to the Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection lanes at the Stanton Street international bridge seized more than 67 pounds of marijuana on Friday. The drugs were concealed in the front dashboard of a car.
"SENTRI is a trusted traveler program with a zero-tolerance policy for violations," said William Molaski, CBP El Paso port director. "CBP maintains the integrity of this important program through random and targeted screenings of SENTRI users. We trust but we also verify that users are complying with the rules of the program and the laws of the U.S."
The seizure was made at 11:55 a.m., when a 1999 Honda Accord entered the port from Mexico. A CBP officer at the primary inspection booth noticed inconsistencies in statements given by the driver and referred the vehicle to secondary inspection for further examination.
CBP drug sniffing dog Taxi searched the vehicle and alerted to the front dash compartment area. The vehicle was taken to a separate inspection area where an extensive inspection of the vehicle was conducted. CBP officers discovered 54 bundles concealed in a non-factory compartment in the front area of the dashboard. The contents of the bundles tested positive for marijuana with a weight of 67.21 pounds.
CBP officers at the port arrested the driver, 22-year-old Alan Castaneda Carrete, of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. He was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents to face federal charges including importation of a controlled substance and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.
In addition to the drug seizure, CBP officers recorded 48 immigration violations at area ports this weekend including 37 intended immigrants and 11 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 17 fugitive apprehensions and located a missing juvenile during the weekend.
In addition to the drug arrests, CBP officers working at ports of entry in El Paso, West Texas and New Mexico made three seizures of agricultural items. Violators paid $1,075 in penalties in association with the violations. Prohibited animals and food products seized included two live roosters, pork, quince and potatoes.
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.