CBP Officers Seized More Than $5 Million in Narcotics and Currency at Laredo Port of Entry
Laredo, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Laredo port of entry seized an array of narcotics this past week and intercepted more than $212,000 in undeclared currency before it left the country into Mexico. CBP officers seized a ton and a half of marijuana in a commercial truck, two pounds of cocaine and two pounds of heroin in a commercial bus, and 41 pounds of cocaine in an SUV, all worth more than $5 million, in four separate enforcement actions at two of Laredo's international crossings.
The most recent of the four seizures occurred March 6 at the Lincoln-Juarez International Bridge. CBP officers referred a 2001 Isuzu Trooper SUV driven by a 23-year-old U.S. citizen from Houston, Texas for secondary inspection. Using a non-intrusive imaging system and a canine, CBP officers found 12 bundles of cocaine within the cargo area of the SUV. The cocaine weighed a total of 41 pounds and is valued at $1.3 million. The SUV and the cocaine were seized by CBP officers.
On the same day, at the same bridge, CBP officers were processing arriving commercial buses when they encountered a 2006 Volvo bus with several passengers. CBP officers conducted an X-ray scan of the bus while all passengers presented their baggage for inspection. The imaging system scan revealed anomalies within the interior of the bus. A closer inspection of the passenger seats within the bus revealed two packages concealed underneath one seat. One package contained two pounds of heroin and the other, two pounds of cocaine. The heroin has a street value of $200,000 and the cocaine is valued at $64,000. The bus and the narcotics were seized by CBP officers.
The largest seizure in quantity of narcotics was the 3,500 pounds of marijuana intercepted at World Trade Bridge on March 5. CBP officers processed a 1997 Volvo tractor hauling a 2004 Great Dane trailer driven by a 27-year-old Mexican citizen from Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico. CBP officers referred the shipment containing 11 manifested bundles of auto parts for an x-ray scan that resulted in the discovery of 98 extra bundles co-mingled inside the trailer. A CBP canine and a closer inspection of the extra bundles revealed the marijuana that weighed over a ton and a half. The marijuana is valued at $3.5 million. The tractor was seized and the trailer and the shipment of auto parts was turned over to the customs house broker of record.
The last of the four seizure actions happened as CBP officers working together with Border Patrol agents and Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents were conducting outbound enforcement as part of joint-component operations at the Lincoln-Juarez Bridge on March 3. A CBP officer encountered a 2000 Chevrolet Sonora truck driven by a 60-year-old Mexican citizen from Ocatlan, Jalisco as he was attempting to exit from the U.S. to Mexico. The truck was referred to secondary for further inspection. This inspection resulted in the finding of 11 packages of undeclared currency within the vehicle. The total amount of the currency is $212,243. The truck and the currency were seized by CBP officers.
All four of these matters have been referred to U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents for further investigation.
"Another week of exceptional seizures is a credit to the work that CBP officers do each and every day," 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.