EL PASO, Texas -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers working at the El Paso port of entry made six drug seizures Thursday. They seized 10.55 pounds of cocaine in one seizure and 513 pounds of marijuana in an additional five seizures.
“CBP officers remain vigilant knowing that smugglers are consistently attempting to evade the inspection process,” said Beverly Good, CBP El Paso Port Director. “Officer expertise, tools, technology and canine support all play a role in stopping these drug loads.”
The cocaine seizure was made just before 5:00 p.m. at the Bridge of the Americas international crossing. A single female driving a 2004 Toyota 4Runner entered the port from Mexico and provided a negative declaration. A CBP officer working at the primary inspection booth noted that the driver was nervous so he selected the vehicle for a secondary exam.
CBP officers scanned the vehicle with the Z-Portal x-ray system and spotted an anomaly in the engine area of the car. CBP officers continued their exam and located one large cocaine-filled bundle inside the engine intake manifold. The drugs weighed 10.55 pounds.
CBP officers arrested the driver, 37-year-old Romana Araceli Hernandez Lara of El Paso, Texas. She was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations agents to face charges associated with the failed smuggling attempt.
In addition to the cocaine bust CBP officers working at the El Paso area port also made five marijuana seizures totaling 513 pounds Thursday. They also apprehend four NCIC fugitives and seized contraband agriculture items.
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.