EL PASO, TEXAS—U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the El Paso port of entry seized 3.7 pounds of methamphetamine and 32 pounds of marijuana late Thursday. The drugs were in a vehicle being driven by a woman traveling with her teenage son.
“Smugglers may believe that arriving at the border as a family unit will make it easier for them to succeed in their illegal enterprise.” said El Paso Port Director Hector Mancha. “This seizure illustrates that the tools CBP employs on a daily basis will identify and stop smugglers.”
The seizure was made at approximately 10:30 p.m. at the Ysleta international crossing when a 2003 Cadillac Escalade arrived at the port from Mexico. A CBP officer noted a number of discrepancies during the initial interview with the driver and selected the vehicle for a secondary exam. CBP officers scanned the vehicle with the Z-Portal x-ray system and spotted anomalies. CBP drug sniffing dog “Drago” searched the SUV and alerted to the quarter panels. CBP officers used a “Buster” density meter to examine the vehicle and received high readings consistent with hidden contraband. CBP officers removed three methamphetamine filled bundles and 29 marijuana filled bundles from the vehicle.
CBP arrested the driver of the vehicle, 38-year-old Norma Leticia Morales Castaneda of El Paso, Texas. She was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement HSI special agents to face charges in connection with the failed smuggling attempt.
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.