Brownsville, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Gateway International Bridge discovered $150,000 in marijuana hidden in the gas tank of a Chevrolet Astro van; one male U.S. citizen was arrested.
On Thursday, January 14, at the Gateway International Bridge, CBP officers working primary operations came in contact with a maroon 1996 Chevrolet Astro Van driven by a 20-year-old male U.S. citizen and resident of Brownsville, Texas.
A CBP officer referred the Chevrolet to secondary for an intensified examination. "Cheka" a narcotic detector dog, further alerted officers to the odor of narcotics emanating from the Astro van. CBP officers dismantled the gas tank and removed two man-made metal compartments from within the gas tank. The two large compartments contained a total of nearly 150 pounds of marijuana.
The marijuana from this seizure has an estimated street value of close to $150,000. CBP officers arrested the driver and turned him over to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents who investigated the seizure. The driver may face federal drug charges.
"This load of drugs will not make it to its intended destination. CBP officers stopped another substantial amount of marijuana on the frontline," said Michael Freeman, CBP port director, Brownsville. Freeman went on to say, "I congratulate our officers for a job well done with the interception of these dangerous narcotics."
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.