Laredo, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Laredo port of entry processed a greater amount of travel permits during the Christmas holiday weekend than the previous week and the previous year. Also found were two loads of marijuana that resulted in the arrests of three persons.
While some cities in our state experienced blankets of snow, CBP officers in Laredo experienced what seemed like blankets of vehicles and people. During the Christmas holiday weekend, CBP officers at the four international bridges in Laredo processed nearly 35,000 travel permits for tourists who were looking to spend the holiday with families and/or take in the day-after Christmas shopping specials.
In addition to the significant amount of travelers processed, CBP officers intercepted two separate loads of marijuana for a total combined weight of 378 pounds. The two loads of marijuana netted 121 bundles of the packaged narcotics concealed within the four tires of a pick-up truck and the bed in another truck. A narcotics detector dog and imaging systems assisted CBP officers in alerting to the presence of the odor of narcotics and anomalies in both cases.
A total of three individuals, all Mexican nationals including a woman, were arrested in relation to the two cases. CBP officers turned the three individuals over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents who investigated the seizures and processed them on drug charges. The total estimated street value for the marijuana is $378,000. CBP officers also seized both vehicles involved in the smuggling attempts.
"This holiday season annually draws one of the most significant increases in travelers through the Port of Laredo, our CBP officers always remain vigilant and utilize their skills to process the number of crossings as well as to detect smuggling attempts," said Gene Garza, port director. "It is an amazing job that CBP officers do everyday to balance travel facilitation while maintaining security at our borders."
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.