El Paso, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at El Paso, Texas ports of entry made two cocaine and seven marijuana seizures yesterday. CBP officers confiscated approximately 19.2 pounds of cocaine with a value of $614,400, and 774.68 pounds of marijuana with a value of $1,797,258 during the course of the day.
"These are outstanding seizures; the dedication and always vigilant skills on the part of our frontline officers are what make these seizures possible," said Barry Miller, CBP Assistant Port Director El Paso, Texas.
In the largest of the cocaine seizures, CBP officers at the Paso Del Norte international crossing in the El Paso port of entry confiscated 14.3 pounds of the drug. The seizure was made at approximately 5:00 p.m. when a 37-year-old female from Clovis, New Mexico driving a 2003 Oldsmobile Alero arrived from Mexico and told officers she had nothing to declare. CBP officers selected the vehicle for inspection. CBP drug sniffing dog "Boomer" searched the vehicle and alerted to the left rocker panel area. The vehicle was taken to a separate inspection area where an extensive exam of the vehicle was conducted. CBP officers discovered six cocaine-filled packages concealed in the rocker panel area. The contents of the bundles tested positive for cocaine.
CBP officers at the port arrested the driver, Elizabeth Melendez. She was turned over to Drug Enforcement Agency special agents to face federal charges including importation of a controlled substance and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. She is currently detained without bond at the El Paso County Jail.
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.