EL PASO, TEXAS—U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the El Paso port of entry seized 546 pounds of marijuana Wednesday. The drugs were found in the doors of a commercial cargo trailer.
"CBP's layered enforcement approach led to this sizable drug bust," said El Paso Port Director Hector Mancha. "Canines, CBP officer expertise and high technology all contributed to this seizure."
The seizure was made just after noon August 28 when CBP officers and CBP canine officers were performing a sweep of commercial trucks waiting in the queue leading up to the primary inspection booths at the Bridge of the Americas commercial cargo lot. CBP drug sniffing dog "Borro" alerted to the rear of a trailer waiting in line. CBP officers selected the vehicle for a secondary exam and performed an x-ray scan on the tractor-trailer which revealed an anomaly in the appearance of the trailer doors. CBP officers moved the trailer to the inspection dock and located bundles hidden within the doors of the trailer. They removed a total of 500 marijuana-filled packages. The drugs weighed 546 pounds and have an estimated street value of $436,800.
The driver was taken into custody by CBP officers. He is identified as 39-year-old Hector Manuel Romero Aguirre of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Federal prosecution was accepted and he was booked into the El Paso County jail to face charges associated with the failed smuggling attempt.
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.