Hidalgo, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Office of Field Operations (OFO) officers at the Hidalgo and Pharr International Bridges seized over seven pounds of heroin in two separate, unrelated incidents this weekend. The estimated street value for both seizures is approximately $235,840.
On May 12, 2012 CBP officers working at the Pharr/Reynosa International Bridge encountered a beige 2002 Ford Windstar driven by a 34-year-old female United States citizen from Edinburg, Texas which was referred to secondary inspection. At that time, officers discovered two packages of alleged heroin weighing approximately 2.60 kilograms (5.73 pounds) which were hidden within the vehicle's engine. CBP seized the heroin, which has an estimated street value of $183,360 and the vehicle as well.
On May 13, 2012 an 18-year-old male United States citizen arrived at the Hidalgo/Reynosa International Bridge pedestrian lanes and presented a U.S. passport to the CBP officer. The adult male traveler was referred to secondary for a more thorough inspection and it was there that officers discovered two packages of alleged heroin strapped to his body. The packages were seized and had a combined weight of approximately 1.64 pounds. The estimated street value of the heroin is $52,480.
Both the adult female and male travelers were released to the custody Homeland-Security Investigations (HSI) special agents for further investigation. The minor female child was released to an adult family member.
Also, in two unrelated incidents officers at the Hidalgo International Bridge arrested two Mexican national females, a 29-year-old from Cadereyta, N.L and a 24-year-old from Tasquillo, Hidalgo allegedly attempting to enter the U.S. in taxicabs utilizing border crossing cards belonging to other people. In a third incident CBP officers working the pedestrian lanes arrested a 55-year-old male Mexican national claiming United States citizenship when after further review CBP officers discovered that he was a citizen and national from Ensenada, B.C., Mexico. All three travelers were found not to be in possession of legal documents to enter or reside in the United States.
The two adult females and adult male travelers are being held pending appearance before a U.S. Federal Magistrate on criminal charges for alleged violations of U.S. immigration law.
"The drug trafficking organizations are recruiting young people and attempting their smuggling efforts in smaller quantities utilizing deeper concealments but our officers' excellent commitment and diligence have produced very positive results," said Efrain Solis Jr., Port Director, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas. "Their keen observational techniques have also yielded outstanding results in detecting these imposters attempting to enter our country illegally."
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 official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.