PRESIDIO, TEXAS—U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers working at the Presidio port of entry seized 474 pounds of marijuana Monday night. The drugs were hidden in the I-beams of a gooseneck trailer. The estimated street value of the seized contraband is almost $380,000.
"Smugglers went to great length and considerable expense to hide this load," said David Lambrix, CBP Presidio port director. "It appears this trailer was built for the sole purpose of smuggling drugs."
The seizure was made just before 10 p.m. when a 1993 Ford F-250 pickup towing an empty gooseneck trailer entered the facility from Mexico. CBP officers selected the vehicles for a thorough inspection and noted an anomaly in the appearance of the trailer. CBP officers drilled into the I-beam of the trailer and produced a substance which tested positive for the properties of marijuana. CBP officers x-rayed the truck and trailer and spotted additional anomalies in the appearance of the trailer I-beams. An I-beam was opened revealing cellophane wrapped packages attached to yellow straps designed to remove the packages from the hollow beams. CBP officers removed a total of 226 marijuana-filled bundles from the trailer.
CBP officers took custody of the driver, 51-year-old Jesus Rodriguez Aguirre of Chihuahua City, Mexico. He was turned over to and arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement HSI agents 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.
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.