LAREDO, Texas –U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Laredo Port of Entry this week discovered $72,000 in hard narcotics within the baggage of a Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection (SENTRI) lane member during a routine compliance check.
“CBP conducts compliance examinations of the members of its trusted traveler programs under the time-honored adage ‘trust, but verify,’” said Port Director Gregory Alvarez, Laredo Port of Entry. “This positive discovery of narcotics re-affirms the need to continue to check compliance to prevent these programs from being subverted by narcotics smuggling organizations.”
The seizure occurred on Mar. 21 at Lincoln-Juarez Bridge. A CBP officer referred a 2005 Mazda CX-5 that entered via the SENTRI lane driven by a 22-year-old male U.S. citizen for a secondary inspection. During the examination, CBP officers discovered two packages in a duffel bag containing a total of five pounds of alleged methamphetamine. The narcotics have an estimated street value of $72,000.
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. The traveler’s SENTRI privileges have been revoked.
SENTRI is a trusted traveler program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low risk travelers upon arrival in the U.S. via a dedicated lane. Participants must undergo a rigorous background check and in-person interview.
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.