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CBP Officers Stop 3 Drug Loads at Santa Teresa Port

Release Date: 
June 29, 2015

SANTA TERESA. N.M. -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers working at the Santa Teresa port of entry seized 529 pounds of marijuana in three separate drug busts Saturday. The drugs have an estimated street value of $423,200.                                

“Early morning, the middle of the day and into the evening hours CBP officers were on target stopping these three drug loads, said Ray Provencio, CBP Santa Teresa Port Director. “CBP officers employed their skills, tools and technology to locate these drug loads.”

The first seizure of the day was made just after 7:00 a.m. when a 1995 Chevrolet Blazer entered the port from Mexico. The female driver of the car was accompanied by two your children. A CBP officer at the primary inspection noted signs of tampering on the vehicle and selected the Chevrolet for an intensive exam.

CBP officers continued their exam and received high “Buster” density meter readings when scanning the gas tank and spare tire. High readings are usually consistent with hidden contraband. CBP drug sniffing dog “Kyra” searched the vehicle and alerted to the same area. CBP officers x-rayed the vehicle and noted anomalies in the gas tank. CBP officers removed 125-marijuana-filled bundles weighing 134 pounds from the gas tank and tire.

CBP officers discover drug bundles in side walls of vehicle.

CBP officers discover drug bundles in side walls of vehicle.

CBP officers arrested the driver, 30-year-old Ariel Tena-Ortiz of Santa Fe, New Mexico. She was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement HSI agents to face charges associated with the failed smuggling attempt. The children were turned over to a relative.

The second seizure of the day was made just after 12:30 p.m. when a Dodge Ram pickup with a single occupant entered the port from Mexico. A CBP officer at the primary inspection selected the truck for an intensive exam during which CBP officers spotted bundles in the windshield wiper motor compartment. CBP officers x-rayed the vehicle and noted anomalies in the walls of the truck as well. CBP officers removed 120-marijuana-filled bundles weighing 129 pounds from the truck.

CBP officers arrested the driver, 22-year-old Pablo Manuel Bueno Castro of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. He was turned over to the Las Cruces/Dona Ana County Metro Narcotics Task Force to face charges associated with the failed smuggling attempt.

The last seizure of the day was also the largest. It was made just after 8:30 p.m. when a 2006 Honda Ridgeline entered the port from Mexico. A CBP officer at the primary inspection noted several anomalies in the appearance of the vehicle. The officer also received high “Buster” density meter readings when scanning the exterior of the vehicle.

CBP officers directed the vehicle to the secondary exam area where CBP drug sniffing dog “Roma” searched the vehicle and panels of the truck. CBP officers x-rayed the vehicle and noted anomalies. in the gas tank. CBP officers removed 125-marijuana-filled bundles weighing 266 pounds from side panels of the vehicle.

CBP officers arrested the driver, 46-year-old Francisco Lozano Marquez of Cuahtemoc, Chihuahua, Mexico. He was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement HSI agents to face charges associated with the failed smuggling attempt.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017