Hidalgo/Pharr, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Hidalgo/Pharr, Texas port of entry seized approximately 158 pounds of cocaine and 41 pounds of marijuana in two separate, unrelated enforcement actions this weekend. The combined estimated street value of drugs seized is close to $5.1 million.
On December 18, CBP officers working at the Hidalgo/Reynosa International Bridge came in contact with a northbound 1995 Dina passenger bus. The driver of the bus was identified as a 37-year-old male U.S. citizen from Houston, Texas. After the initial primary inspection, the driver and bus were referred to secondary for further inspection.
While in secondary, "Laika", a narcotic detector dog, alerted officers to the odor of narcotics emanating from the bus. A non-intrusive image scan revealed anomalies within the bus's floor. While conducting an intensive examination of the undercarriage, CBP officers found 62 cocaine packages hidden within the bus's floor. The driver, who was not immediately arrested, was issued at $10,000 civil penalty. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents continue to investigate this failed smuggling attempt. CBP officers seized the 1995 Dina bus.
On December 20, CBP officers working at the Pharr/Reynosa International Bridge came in contact with a northbound 1996 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck. The driver was identified as Adrian Gomez, a U.S. citizen, age 20 from Pharr, Texas. A CBP officer referred the driver and pickup truck to secondary for further inspection. In secondary, officers noted discrepancies to the vehicle's spare tire and had the tire dismantled. CBP officers discovered within the spare tire a metal container full of bulk compressed marijuana.
The marijuana weighed approximately 41 pounds and the estimated street value was close to $32,000. After his arrest, Gomez was transferred to the custody of ICE special agents who continue to investigate this failed smuggling attempt. Pending appearance before a U.S. Magistrate, Gomez remains incarcerated. CBP officers seized the Tacoma pickup truck.
Hector A. Mancha, CBP port director Hidalgo said, "I commend our frontline officers and K-9 units for their vigilance and for intercepting these two drug loads." Mancha further said, "K-9 Laika continues to do great work in alerting to the presence of narcotic odors."
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.