EL PASO, Texas -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers working at the El Paso Port of Entry seized several bundles of fentanyl strapped to the ankles of a 47-year-old United States citizen.
The seizure was made shortly after 2 a.m. on Halloween when the subject entered the U.S. as a pedestrian via the Paso del Norte border crossing. A CBP Officer referred the subject for a secondary inspection. During that inspection, CBP Officers found that he had fentanyl-filled bundles strapped to his ankles.
The bundles contained 2.6 pounds of fentanyl. CBP Officers arrested the smuggler and he was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations to face charges for the failed smuggling attempt.
“Smugglers are continually changing their methods in an attempt to defeat the CBP inspection process,” said CBP El Paso Port Director Ray Provencio, “The experience, training, and vigilance of our CBP Officers was critical to stopping this smuggling attempt.”
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that can be 80 to 100 times more potent than morphine, and 50 times more potent than many forms of heroin. Illegal versions of fentanyl were largely responsible for the tripling of overdose deaths from synthetic opioids in just two years.
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 official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.