Laredo, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Laredo port of entry seized 17 pounds of heroin and more than 1.3 tons of marijuana in three separate cases in the last two days. The narcotics seized are worth $4.4 million total.
The heroin seizure is the latest of the three cases. CBP officers discovered 17 packages containing the illicit drug after a 2002 Nissan Sentra vehicle, driven by a 20-year-old North Carolina resident, was referred for an intensive inspection at the Lincoln-Juarez Bridge. A CBP canine, an X-ray scan, and a closer inspection of the vehicle led CBP officers to the discovery of the heroin that weighed 17 pounds and is valued at $1.7 million.
The largest of the marijuana seizures occurred after CBP officers at the World Trade Bridge processed a commercial shipment of sheetrock and found 312 bundles containing 2,612 pounds of marijuana within the shipment. The value for the marijuana is listed at $2.6 million.
The other marijuana seizure occurred after CBP officers encountered a 1998 Ford F-150 pick-up truck at the Lincoln Juarez Bridge. CBP officers referred the truck, driven by a 25-year-old Mexican national from Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico for an intensive examination. The exam resulted in the discovery of 55 bundles of marijuana weighing a total of 197 pounds. The marijuana is valued at $197,000.
All three of these cases were turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents for further investigation. CBP officers seized the vehicles involved in these smuggling attempts also.
"CBP officers maintain a high-degree of vigilance at all of our border crossings ensuring that our anti-terrorism mission is always top priority. Intercepting illegal drugs during the course of their inspections is an added incentive," said Noel Sanchez, acting CBP port director in Laredo.
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.