EL PASO, TEXAS—U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the El Paso port of entry seized 334 pounds of marijuana in four seizures Wednesday. The estimated street value of the seized contraband is $267,200.
“CBP officers at the El Paso port of entry are working hard to stop all violations they encounter while performing their vital homeland security mission,” said El Paso Port Director Hector Mancha. “CBP remains vigilant 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
The largest of the four seizures occurred at approximately 10 a.m. at the Bridge of the Americas international crossing. CBP officers were processing arriving traffic when they encountered a 1993 Isuzu Trooper at the primary inspection booth. The CBP officer noted a number of anomalies in the appearance of the vehicle. The CBP officer also scanned the vehicle with a “Buster” density meter and received high readings consistent with hidden contraband. CBP officers scanned the vehicle with the Z-Portal x-ray system and spotted anomalies. A CBP drug sniffing dog searched the SUV and alerted to the presence of drugs. CBP officers removed 162 marijuana-filled bundles from all four tires, the gas tank, the center console, the dash board area, below the seat and in the quarter panels. The drugs weighed a total of 186.9 pounds.
CBP arrested the driver of the vehicle, 38-year-old Ivann Cardosa Legarreta of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. He was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement HSI special agents to face charges in connection 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.