COLUMBUS, N.M.—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at the Columbus port of entry seized 362 pounds of marijuana on Friday, Feb. 1. A 63-year-old man was arrested. The seizure was largest of six made by CBP officers working at area ports this weekend.
"Drug seizure activity at the Columbus port shows that smugglers come in all ages," said Edward Sinderson, CBP Columbus acting port director. "We recently intercepted a high school age student and now a person in his sixties. This shows that CBP officers must maintain vigilance consistently."
The seizure occurred just after 7:00 p.m., when a 1997 Dodge Ram pickup arrived from Mexico. CBP officers initiated an exam and detected a number of anomalies in the appearance of the vehicle. CBP officers x-rayed the vehicle and noted the appearance of a foreign object in the fuel tank. The tank was opened revealing several large metal boxes. The boxes were opened producing 362 pounds of tightly compressed marijuana.
CBP officers took custody of the driver, 63-year-old Luis Torres Torres of Chihuahua City, Chihuahua, Mexico. He was turned over to and arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement HSI agents in connection with the failed smuggling attempt.
CBP officers working at area ports of entry seized 757 pounds of marijuana in six seizures this weekend. They also recorded eight illegal export violations, seven fugitive apprehensions, five agriculture seizures, and one currency seizure.
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.