SANTA TERESA, N.M. -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers working at the Santa Teresa port of entry seized 3,846 pounds of marijuana Wednesday. The estimated street value of the seized contraband is $3,076,800.
“This is the largest seizure made here in more than a decade and the second largest drug seizure ever at the Santa Teresa port,” said Ray Provencio, CBP Santa Teresa Port Director. “The largest on record was a 5,263 pound seizure was made here in February 2002.”
This seizure was made at approximately noon Wednesday when a 1999 International tractor towing an empty trailer arrived at the port from Mexico. A CBP officer at the primary inspection station selected the rig for a secondary exam and directed the unit to the port x-ray system. CBP officers scanned the tractor-trailer and spotted an anomaly in the floor of the trailer. CBP officers drilled into the floor producing a green substance which tested positive for marijuana. The floor of the trailer was dismantled revealing 727 marijuana filled bundles.
CBP officers arrested the driver of the van, 44-year-old Lazaro Alfredo Marquez Cano of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. He was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement HSI agents to face charges associated with the failed smuggling attempt.
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.