El Paso, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the El Paso and Santa Teresa, Texas ports of entry seized 78.6 pounds of methamphetamine and 884 pounds of marijuana in three separate seizures Tuesday. Three people were arrested in the busts.
The methamphetamine seizure was made shortly after 3 p.m. at the Santa Teresa port of entry after a 2005 Ford Expedition entered the port from Mexico. CBP officers initiated a search during which a CBP drug sniffing dog alerted to the front of the vehicle. CBP officers continued their examination and located anomalies in the appearance of the radiator. CBP dismantled the radiator and located a pair of compartments containing liquid and crystal substances which tested positive for methamphetamine. CBP officers seized 78.6 pounds of the drug.
CBP officers took custody of the driver, 21-year-old Lirice Vargas Mendoza of Nuevo Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, Mexico. She was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) HSI agents to face federal drug smuggling charges.
CBP officers at the Santa Teresa port of entry also made a large marijuana seizure Tuesday. The seizure was made just after 10:00 a.m. when a 1998 GMC Cheyenne 2500 pick-up arrived from Mexico. A CBP officer working the primary inspection booth noted anomalies in the appearance of the vehicle. A CBP drug sniffing dog searched the vehicle and alerted. CBP officers scanned the vehicle with a non-intrusive x-ray system which resulted in anomalies being spotted in the truck bed and cab floor. CBP officers removed 228 bundles of marijuana weighing 418.8 pounds from the vehicle.
CBP officers took custody of the driver, 36-year-old Manuel Paulino Alvarez Valdez of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. He was arrested by ICE HSI agents to face federal drug smuggling charges.
CBP officers working at the Bridge of the Americas international crossing at the El Paso port of entry seized 465.3 pounds of marijuana Tuesday. The seizure was made at approximately 6:30 p.m. when a 1995 Chevrolet 1500 entered the port from Mexico. A CBP officer at the primary inspection booth selected the vehicle for a secondary exam during which a CBP drug sniffing dog alerted to the rear cargo area. CBP officers located 237 marijuana-filled bundles in the rear wall and gas tank of the truck.
CBP officers took custody of the driver, 21-year-old Bryant Orlando Padilla Garcia of Puerto Penasco, Sonora, Mexico. He was arrested by ICE HSI agents to face federal drug smuggling charges.
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.
For more information on CBP please tune in to AM radio 530 (Ysleta/Zaragosa area) or AM Radio 1620 (Bridge of the Americas/Paso Del Norte area). These low-power radio stations continuously broadcast CBP related border crossing information in English and Spanish.