EL PASO, Texas -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operation officers and U.S. Border Patrol agents working at the El Paso port of entry seized 85.9 pounds of methamphetamine Sunday. The estimated street value of the seized methamphetamine is $2,748,800.
“This is a very large drug load that did not make it to its intended destination,” said Beverly Good, CBP El Paso port director. “Holiday traffic remains heavy yet CBP officers continue to focus on their mission and stop criminal activity on a daily basis.”
The 85.9 pound methamphetamine seizure was made just before 11 a.m. Sunday at the Paso Del Norte international crossing. A CBP officer at the primary inspection booth initiated an inspection of a 2007 Volkswagen Touareg which arrived from Mexico. During the primary exam a group of CBP officers and Border Patrol agents were initiating enforcement sweep of vehicles waiting in line when CBP drug sniffing dog “Doky” alerted to the vehicle at the primary inspection station.
CBP officers scanned the vehicle with the Z-Portal x-ray system which helped CBP identify an anomaly in the appearance of the vehicle. CBP officers and Border Patrol agents continued their exam and located bundles hidden in the rocker panels of the car. They removed a total of 32 methamphetamine filled bundles from both rocker panels. The drugs weighed 85.9 pounds.
CBP officers arrested the driver of the car, 54-year-old Ramon Valencia Magana of Fontana, Calif. He was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations special agents to face charges associated with the failed smuggling attempt and booked into the El Paso County jail.
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.