Laredo, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Laredo port of entry seized more than five tons of marijuana on Wednesday in two separate cases. The total estimated street value for the narcotics seized is well over $10 million.
The larger of the two seizures occurred at World Trade Bridge when CBP officers processed a 1997 International tractor hauling a 1997 Trailmobile trailer driven by a 36-year-old Mexican national from Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico carrying a commercial shipment of auto parts. CBP officers referred the manifested shipment of 20 cartons of auto parts for an X-ray scan that resulted in an anomaly detected within the trailer. A closer inspection of the trailer led CBP officers to the discovery of 362 bundles of marijuana co-mingled with the shipment. The bulk load of marijuana weighed a total of 10,661 pounds and is valued at $10.6 million.
The other marijuana seizure occurred the same day at the Gateway to the Americas Bridge. A 1978 Ford F-150 pick-up truck driven by a 19-year-old Mexican national from Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico arrived for inspection. A search of the interior of the vehicle by CBP officers resulted in the discovery of 16 bundles of marijuana weighing 110 pounds that are valued at $110,000.
Both of these matters cases have been referred to U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents for further investigation.
CBP officers seized the narcotics and the three conveyances involved in these smuggling attempts.
"More than five tons of marijuana in a day's work is what makes CBP officers so invaluable. Their consistent vigilance in both cargo and passenger processing areas is what these seizures represent," said Gene Garza, CBP port director, 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.