HIDALGO, Texas—U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Hidalgo International Bridge were busy this weekend not only processing legitimate trade and travelers but intercepting narcotics worth a total of $4,613,000.
“Not only were students getting ready for a new school year but it appeared like smugglers were also attempting to get going,” said Port Director Sylvia Briones, Port of Hidalgo/ Pharr/ Anzalduas. “Our officers stood up to the challenge and intercepted two substantial loads of hard narcotics.”
The first interception occurred on Aug. 17, at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge after a CBP officer referred a 24-year-old male Mexican citizen driving a black 2008 Lincoln MKX for further inspection. A thorough secondary examination resulted in officers discovering that three large paint buckets the traveler was bringing contained alleged liquid methamphetamine. CBP officers seized the five-gallon buckets, which contained 132.85 pounds (60.26 kg) of methamphetamine and are valued at $2,657,000.
The following day at the same border crossing, CBP officers referred a 30-year-old man, a U.S. citizen from Arkansas, driving a maroon 1989 Chevy Suburban for a secondary examination. The secondary inspection, which included the assistance of a (canine team), allowed the officers to discover narcotics concealed within pieces of a children’s plastic play set. Officers seized 56.65 pounds (24.70 kg) of alleged methamphetamine and 20.54 pounds (9.32 kg) of heroin, respectively. The methamphetamine is valued at $1,134,000 and the heroin at $822,000.
CBP OFO seized both vehicles, the narcotics and arrested the two men who were turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents who continue with the investigations.