SOUTH TEXAS – US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) components have seen a significant increase in cocaine and heroin seizures throughout the region this year. From Del Rio to Brownsville, Border Patrol agents and Customs and Border Protection officers are interdicting hard drugs at our ports and checkpoints.
The South Texas Corridor (STC) has seen a 177% increase in heroin and 129% increase in cocaine seized by agents and officers in the field. The increase in illicit drug activity comes at a time when apprehensions have declined in recent months.
As evident in recent seizures, smugglers are utilizing a variety of tactics to smuggle the contraband past law enforcement. Smugglers have been caught with drugs hidden in vehicle gas tanks, manufactured compartments, propane tanks, shipments of fruit and vegetables, stuffed in personal belongings, bags of candy, and even transported methamphetamine in liquid form inside milk and juice cartons.
CBP employs a multitude of approaches to combat the efforts of drug smugglers which range from the operations in the field and at the ports to K-9 units, high tech inspection equipment and strategic targeting of criminal organizations by working with federal, state, local and international partners.
"The alignment of policy and strategy has led to significant gains in reducing illicit cross border activity in South Texas, we must stay vigilant,” said Joint Task Force-West South Texas Corridor, Commander Manuel Padilla, Jr. “Low apprehension numbers do not equate to a quiet border. Criminal organizations will continue to smuggle their contraband and threaten border security.”
“Our law enforcement partners are also working hard to get drugs off our streets, and stopping them from coming into our country, but we can’t win this battle alone,” Padilla said. “The public is encouraged to take a stand against crime in our South Texas communities and to help save lives by reporting suspicious activity at 800-863-9382.”
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.