EL PASO, TEXAS—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at the El Paso port of entry seized 26 pounds of cocaine late Friday. The seizure was one of five drug busts CBP officers in El Paso made this weekend. They also seized 240 pounds of marijuana in four other seizures.
"Homeland security is our priority mission however the thorough inspection process we employ at area ports routinely uncovers drug smuggling attempts," said CBP El Paso Port Director Hector Mancha. "Stopping drugs at area ports helps keep our communities safe. CBP officers remain vigilant in their role as America's front line."
The cocaine seizure was made at approximately 7:30 p.m. Friday a 2007 Honda Ridgeline entered the Ysleta international crossing. CBP officers selected the vehicle for a secondary exam during which they spotted anomalies in the appearance of the vehicle. CBP drug sniffing dog "Jerry" searched the conveyance and alerted to the presence of drugs. CBP officers scanned the vehicle with a non-intrusive x-ray system and noted an anomaly in the bed area of the vehicle. CBP officers continued their exam and located a metal box in the spare tire area of the truck. They removed 10 cocaine-filled bundles from the compartment.
CBP officers arrested the driver of the vehicle. He is identified as 45-year-old Eloy Monsivais Coronado of Albuquerque, New Mexico. He was turned over to U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) HSI agents on federal drug smuggling charges to include importation of a controlled substance and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. He is currently detained at the El Paso County Jail.
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 routinely 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.