PRESIDIO, TEXAS—U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers working at the Presidio port of entry seized 436 pounds of marijuana Saturday. The estimated street value of the seized contraband is $348,800.
"This was a sizable drug load that did not reach its intended destination," said David Lambrix, CBP Presidio port director. "The vigilance and expertise of CBP officers working at the Presidio port of entry combined with several kinds of technology stopped this drug load."
The seizure was made just after 9:00 p.m. Saturday when a 2003 Chevrolet Avalanche with two occupants arrived from Mexico. CBP officers initiated an examination of the vehicle and then selected the Chevrolet for a secondary exam. CBP officers utilized a "Buster" density to search the vehicle and received high readings consistent with hidden contraband. A CBP officer then located a compartment containing wrapped bundles. CBP officers scanned the truck with an x-ray unit and spotted anomalies in the floor and bed of the vehicle. CBP officers removed 176 marijuana-filled packages from multiple hidden compartments.
CBP officers arrested the driver and passenger of the vehicle. The driver is 45-year-old Erlinda Zuniga of Odessa, Texas. The passenger is 63-year-old Nancy Jean Moffitt of Leadville, Colorado. Both were turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations special agents to face federal charges in connection with the 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.