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CBP Officers in Southwest Texas Seize 654 Pounds of Marijuana

Release Date: 
October 22, 2012

El Paso, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at El Paso area ports of entry seized 654 pounds of marijuana this weekend in seven individual drug seizures.

CBP officers located bundles of marijuana hidden in the spare tire and fuel tank of the vehicle.

"The smuggling threat remains high and CBP officers continue their vigilance," said Hector Mancha, El Paso port director. "Every seizure CBP makes is important in protecting our nation and our community."

One of the largest seizures of the weekend was made shortly before 2:00 p.m. at the Bridge of the Americas crossing in El Paso when a 1999 Dodge Durango entered the port of entry. A CBP officer interviewed the driver and then initiated an exam of the vehicle. The CBP officer used a "Buster" density meter which registered high readings consistent with hidden contraband. A CBP drug sniffing dog searched the vehicle and provided a positive response for the presence of drugs. CBP officers located bundles of marijuana hidden in the spare tire and fuel tank of the vehicle. They recovered a total of 151 bundles weighing 161 pounds.

They recovered a total of 151 bundles weighing 161 pounds.

CBP officers took custody of the driver, 48-year-old Severo Baca Leon of Delicias, Chihuahua, Mexico. He was arrested by ICE special agents on federal drug smuggling charges. He was booked into the El Paso County Jail where he is currently detained without bond.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers' primary mission is anti-terrorism; they screen all people, vehicles, and goods entering the United States, while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel into and out of the United States. Their mission also includes carrying out traditional border-related responsibilities, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration law, protecting the nation's food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases, and enforcing trade laws.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) 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.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017