El Paso, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at El Paso area ports of entry made 12 marijuana seizures recently. The seizure activity began Thursday and continued through Monday.
"Whether its big ports or smaller ports, our CBP officers continue to find drugs, bugs and thugs," said Ana Hinojosa, CBP director of Field Operations in El Paso. "There are many ways that people try to sneak bad things or people into our country. Our officers are doing what they can to keep our part of America safe."
In the largest seizure of the period, was at the Paso Del Norte International at 1:26 p.m. Friday when CBP officers seized 286 pounds of marijuana from a 20-year-old male from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The seizure was made when a 1991 GMC 1500 pick-up was selected for inspection and CBP drug sniffing dog "Lady" alerted to the rear bed area of the vehicle. CBP officers discovered 257 packages concealed in a hidden compartment in the bed of the pick-up. The contents of the bundles tested positive for marijuana.
CBP officers at the port arrested the driver, Marco Antonio Moya Vega, and turned him 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. He was booked into the El Paso County Jail, where he is being held without bond.
In addition to the drug seizures, CBP officers recorded 50 immigration violations at area ports during the period, including 44 intended immigrants and six imposters. Intended immigrants will use a legally issued border-crossing card (laser visa) to live or work in the United States, 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 are returned to Mexico.
CBP officers working at area ports made a total of 13 fugitive apprehensions.
In addition to the drug busts, CBP officers working at ports of entry in El Paso, West Texas and New Mexico, made four seizures of agricultural items. Violators paid $1,150 in penalties in association with the violations. Prohibited food products seized included pork ham, bologna, avocados, mangos, apples and pears.
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.