CBP Officers Seize Marijuana at El Paso Ports This Weekend
El Paso, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at El Paso area ports of entry made five marijuana seizures during the weekend. Officers confiscated a total of 295.77 pounds of marijuana.
"Although most people were busy shopping in preparation for the beginning of school, some people still tried to smuggle into the United States," said Bill Molaski, CBP Port Director El Paso. "The primary officer on duty was thorough and focused and was able to identify this vehicle as one that needed additional scrutiny."
The largest of the five seizures was made at 2:06 p.m. on Sunday when CBP officers at the Bridge of the Americas international crossing in the El Paso port of entry confiscated 115.50 pounds of marijuana from a 21-year-old male from Chihuahua, Mexico. The seizure was made when a 2005 Ford F-150 Pick-up arrived at the primary inspection booth from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The driver told the officer that he had nothing to declare. The vehicle was taken to a separate inspection area where an extensive inspection of the vehicle was conducted. Officers discovered four metal containers concealed in the gas tank. The contents of the containers tested positive for marijuana.
CBP officers at the port arrested the driver, Luis Alberto Galindo Castaneda. He was turned 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 is currently detained without bond at the El Paso County Jail.
In addition to the drug seizures, CBP officers recorded 41 immigration violations at area ports this weekend including 35 intended immigrants and six imposters. Intended immigrants will use a legally issued border-crossing card (laser visa) to live or work in the U.S., 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/or are returned to Mexico.
CBP officers working at area ports made a total of ten fugitive apprehensions.
CBP officers working at ports of entry in El Paso, West Texas and New Mexico made eleven seizures of agricultural items. Violators paid $2,575 in penalties in association with the violations. Prohibited food products seized included apples, avocados, peaches, mangos, pork and live plants.
As previously reported CBP officers made a half-million dollar currency outbound seizure at the Stanton Street international crossing in downtown El Paso on Wednesday, August 18th.
CBP Field Operations is responsible for securing our borders at the ports of entry. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers' primary mission is anti-terrorism; they screen all people, vehicles, and goods entering the United States, while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel into and out of the United States. Their mission also includes carrying out traditional border-related responsibilities, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration law, protecting the nation's food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases, and enforcing trade laws.