LAREDO, TEXAS –U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers recently seized a noteworthy amount of alleged cocaine valued at more than $81,000 in one enforcement action this weekend from a Secure Electronic Network for Traveler’s Rapid Inspection (SENTRI) program participant.
“We trust but we also verify that users are complying with the rules of the SENTRI program and the laws of the U.S.,” said Port Director Gregory Alvarez, Laredo Port of Entry. “SENTRI participants are not exempt from inspection and must declare all items such as fruits and vegetables, merchandise and souvenirs. Failure to do so places a SENTRI participant at risk of being fined or arrested, and removed immediately from trusted traveler programs.”
The seizure occurred on Saturday, May 27, at the Lincoln-Juarez International Bridge, when a CBP officer referred a 29-year-old male Mexican citizen from Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas traveling in a 2010 Nissan Sentra for an intensive inspection. A canine and physical inspection of the vehicle resulted in the discovery of four packages containing a total of 11 pounds of alleged cocaine. The cocaine carries an estimated street value of $81,090.
SENTRI members are informed upon enrollment that any violation of U.S. law or violation of the SENTRI program rules is grounds for termination from the program. In this case, the driver’s SENTRI card was revoked and he will no longer be a participant of the SENTRI program.
CBP officers seized the narcotics and the vehicle. The driver was arrested and the case was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) special agents for further investigation.
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.