SANTA TERESA, New Mexico -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Santa Teresa port of entry made two drug busts over the weekend. The first occurred on Friday and the second on Sunday. A total of 15.5 pounds of cocaine was seized.
“These were deeply concealed drug loads,” said Ray Provencio, CBP Santa Teresa Port Director. “Smugglers worked hard to conceal the contraband. However, our highly professional CBP officers worked even harder to discover and seize the cocaine
The first seizure occurred Friday just after 11 a.m. when a 2008 Peugeot with an adult male entered the port from Mexico. A CBP officer initiated a secondary examination and noticed irregularities in the appearance of the engine compartment of the compact vehicle. A non-intrusive X-ray inspection system was used to locate an anomaly within the suspected area. Further physical inspection led to the discovery of hidden bundles. A CBP officer probed a bundle and recovered a substance which tested positive for cocaine.
The second seizure took place Sunday at about 1 p.m. when a 2012 GMC Denali was referred to secondary for further inspection. A CBP Canine officer used his assigned K-9 to inspect the vehicle and the dog alerted to the engine area of the truck. Two bundles were located inside the engine which were later tested and resulted in a positive exam for cocaine.
CBP officers arrested both drivers, a 53-year-old Mexican male from Chihuahua City, Chihuahua, Mexico and a 36-year-old Mexican male from the same area. Both were turned over to ICE HSI special agents to face charges in connection with the failed smuggling attempts.
While anti-terrorism is the primary mission of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the inspection process at the ports of entry associated with this mission results in impressive numbers of enforcement actions in all categories.
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.