Brownsville, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Veteran's International Bridge discovered marijuana hidden in the tailgate of a pickup and concealed in four tires mounted on the truck and within the spare tire; one female U.S. citizen was arrested.
On Monday, December 7, at the Veteran's International Bridge, CBP officers working primary operations encountered a white 1995 Dodge Dakota driven by 22-year-old Elizabeth Naomi Almazan, a U.S. citizen and resident of Brownsville, Texas. A CBP officer's primary inspection revealed inconsistencies in the tires of the Dakota. The primary CBP officer referred the Dodge to secondary for an intensified examination.
"Vice," a narcotic detector dog, further substantiated officers' suspicions and alerted to the odor of narcotics emanating from the tailgate and tires of the pickup. In secondary, a non-intrusive imaging system scan indicated anomalies within the suspected areas of the Dodge. CBP officers dismantled the tailgate and tires and removed 33 packages from the tailgate and man-made compartments within the tires of the Dakota. The 33 packages contained a total of more than 107 pounds of marijuana.
The marijuana from this seizure has an estimated street value of more than $107,000. CBP officers arrested Elizabeth Naomi Almazan and turned her over to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents who investigated the seizure and processed her on federal drug charges.
"CBP officers working primary continue to stop smuggling attempts at the border. Our officers used their training and tools to prevent these dangerous drugs form entering the country. The interception of this load of marijuana is another great example of the outstanding job our officers are doing," said Michael Freeman, CBP port director, Brownsville.
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.