EL PASO, Texas -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers and U.S. Border Patrol agents working at the El Paso port of entry seized 9.4 pounds of cocaine Thursday. The drugs were hidden in a car being driven by a woman who was traveling with her one-year-old son and her 16-year-old sister.
“Smugglers will try almost anything to blend in with legitimate trade and travel,” said Beverly Good, CBP El Paso Port Director. “This is not the first time and probably won’t be the last time we will see a young mother attempting to smuggle drugs while traveling with a child.”
The cocaine seizure was made at approximately 10:30 a.m. at the Ysleta international crossing when CBP officers and Border Patrol agents were performing a sweep of vehicles waiting in line before the primary inspection area. CBP drug sniffing dog “Doky” alerted to 2012 Ford F-150 truck waiting in the queue. A CBP officer examined the undercarriage of the vehicle and discovered cocaine hidden in the charcoal canister of the vehicle emissions system.
CBP personnel moved the vehicle to the secondary inspection area to continue the exam. They removed the charcoal canister and located four cocaine-filled bundles hidden inside. The estimated street value of the seized cocaine is $300,800.
CBP officers arrested the driver, 21-year-old Jessica Melissa Garcia of El Paso. She was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations agents to face charges associated with the failed smuggling attempt. The baby and sister were turned over to an adult relative.
In addition to the cocaine seizure, CBP officers working at El Paso area ports of entry made 17 marijuana seizures during the previous seven days. They confiscated a total of 1,065 pounds of marijuana in those seizures.
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.