EL PASO, TEXAS—U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the El Paso port of entry seized 318 pounds of marijuana in three incidents Thursday. The seized drugs have an estimated street value of $254,400.
"All three of the seizures were made at the Ysleta crossing and all involved female suspects," said CBP El Paso Port Director Hector Mancha. "History has shown us that smugglers can be any gender, race or age. This is no longer unusual."
The largest of the three seizures was made at approximately noon Thursday when a 1999 Pontiac Grand Am entered the Ysleta facility from Mexico. A CBP officer working the primary inspection booth noted an anomaly in the appearance of the vehicle and the nervous demeanor of the driver.
CBP officers scanned the vehicle with the Z-Portal non-intrusive inspection system and spotted several anomalies. A CBP drug sniffing dog searched the car and alerted to the bumper area. CBP officers continued their exam and located marijuana-filled in the bumper, doors, quarter panels and firewall area of the car. A total of 120 bundles weighing 127.8 pounds were seized.
The driver of the vehicle was arrested by CBP officers. She is identified as 21-year-old Lorena Medina of Fabens, Texas. She was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. Federal prosecution was accepted on 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.