El Paso, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the El Paso port of entry seized 322 pounds of marijuana Wednesday. Drugs were concealed in the tires, console, propane tank and floor of vehicles that arrived from Mexico.
The largest seizure of the day occurred at the Bridge of the Americas crossing just before 6 a.m. when a 1998 Ford F-150 pickup arrived at the port. CBP officers working at the primary inspection booth noticed discrepancies in a propane fuel tank mounted on the vehicle. CBP drug sniffing dog "Udo" searched the vehicle and alerted to the propane tank. CBP officers scanned the vehicle with an x-ray unit and spotted anomalies. CBP officers dismantled the tank and removed 155 marijuana-filled bundles from the tank. The drugs weighed 202 pounds. CBP officers arrested the driver, a 23-year-old Mexican male from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. He was turned over to the El Paso Police Department.
CBP officers and Border Patrol agents conducting an enforcement operation in the lines of traffic waiting to arrive at the BOTA inspection booths made a 30-pound marijuana seizure just before 5 p.m. The drugs were found in three of the four tires of a 1991 GMC Sonoma after CBP officers utilized a "Buster" density meter and X-ray equipment to pinpoint the hidden contraband. CBP officers arrested the driver, a 53-year-old Mexican male from Chihuahua City, Mexico. He was turned over to the El Paso Police Department.
"Both these seizures show that smugglers will go to great lengths to conceal their contraband," said William Molaski, CBP El Paso port director. "The vigilance of our officers using various layers of enforcement helped identify and stop these drug smugglers."
CBP officers at the El Paso port made two more drug busts Wednesday seizing an additional 90 pounds of marijuana in those cases. 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.