EL PASO, Texas -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers working at the El Paso port of entry seized 9.26 pounds of methamphetamine in a seizure on Sunday. The estimate street value of the seized contraband is $222,240.
“The primary CBP officer on duty was thorough and focused and was able to identify this vehicle and driver as needing additional scrutiny,” said Beverly Good, CBP El Paso Port Director.
The seizure was made at 6:01 p.m. Sunday at the Paso Del Norte international crossing when a 1998 Hyundai Tiburon driven by a 21-year-old male entered the facility from Mexico. A CBP officer at the primary inspection booth noted that the driver was nervous and selected the car for a secondary exam. The vehicle was scanned with the Z-Portal x-ray system which also showed an anomaly in the back seat. CBP officers removed a total of four drug-filled bundles from the hidden compartment.
CBP officers arrested the driver of the vehicle. He is identified as Erik Alexis Ortega Molina of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. 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.
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.