EL PASO, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the El Paso port of entry seized 2,111 pounds of marijuana Friday. The estimated street value of the seized contraband is almost $1.7 million.
“This was a deeply concealed drug load that was difficult to find and remove,” said Hector Mancha, CBP El Paso Port Director. “Smugglers went to considerable expense to hide this contraband. This seizure represents a significant loss for the smugglers involved.”
The events leading to the seizure began Friday afternoon at the Ysleta international crossing cargo compound when a tractor pulling a loaded flatbed trailer arrived from Mexico. The truck was transporting large pieces of equipment used in cotton farming. CBP officers scanned the shipment with an x-ray system and noted a number of irregularities in the appearance of the equipment. CBP officers continued their exam and drilled into metal rollers that were inside the machinery. They retrieved a green substance that tested positive for marijuana.
The large metal rollers were removed from all pieces of equipment. A contractor with specialty cutting equipment was dispatched to the port and helped cut open large metal cylinders that were concealed in the rollers. The cylinders were stuffed with compressed marijuana. No arrests were made and the investigation continues.
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.