EL PASO, TEXAS—U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers working at the El Paso Port of Entry seized 895 pounds of marijuana Tuesday. The drugs were hidden inside a commercial shipment. The estimated street value of the seized contraband is $716,000.
"Technology played a significant role in locating this drug load," said Hector Mancha, CBP El Paso Port Director. "The drugs were essentially buried under hundreds of pounds of a legitimate commercial product."
The seizure was made just after 7:30 p.m. Tuesday 1998 Volvo tractor trailer loaded with a shipment of 14 large sacks of marble powder calcium carbonate arrived at the Ysleta commercial crossing from Mexico. CBP officers initiated an examination of the vehicle including scanning it with an X-ray system. The scan identified a number of anomalies in the shipment. A CBP drug-sniffing dog searched the truck and alerted to the pallets of bagged calcium carbonate. CBP officers removed the large sacks from the pallets and found large marijuana-filled bricks hidden underneath. No arrests were made and the investigation is continuing.
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.