US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Archived Content

In an effort to keep current, the archive contains content from a previous administration or is otherwise outdated.

Presidio CBP Officers Find White Powder Instead of Black Gold in Vehicle's Oil Pan

Release Date: 
January 29, 2013

PRESIDIO, TEXAS—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at the Presidio port of entry seized 7.48 pounds of cocaine Monday night. The drugs were hidden within the oil pan of a vehicle that arrived at the port from Mexico.


Cocaine hidden within the oil pan.

"Smugglers went to considerable lengths to conceal this drug load," said David Lambrix, CBP Presidio port director. "Deep concealment within small voids inside an engine are a challenge but one that CBP officers at the Presidio port are willing and able to meet."

The seizure occurred just before 11:00 pm Monday when a 1997 Jeep Wrangler arrived from Mexico. CBP officers initiated an exam and detected a number of anomalies in the appearance of the vehicle. CBP officers continued their search by draining oil from the vehicle's oil pan which revealed a solid object inside the compartment. CBP officers probed the object and found a white powder which tested positive for cocaine. They removed the oil pan and recovered three cocaine-filled packages weighing 7.48 pounds.


CBP officers seize 7.48 pounds of cocaine hidden within a vehicles oil pan.


CBP officers took custody of the driver, 34-year-old Ricardo Zavala Espinoza of Chihuahua City, Chihuahua, Mexico. He was turned over to and arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement HSI agents 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.


Last modified: 
February 9, 2017