SANTA TERESA, N.M. -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operation officers working at the Santa Teresa port of entry seized 157 pounds of marijuana Monday night. The drugs have an estimated street value of $125,600.
“CBP officers are working hard to identify and stop any smuggling activity at the Santa Teresa port,” said CBP Santa Teresa Port Director Ray Provencio. “Another sizeable drug load was intercepted because of their commitment and attention to detail.”
The seizure was made at approximately 6:15 p.m. March 30 when a 1994 Dodge Ram arrived at the port from Mexico. A CBP officer at the primary inspection station searched the vehicle and spotted bundles in the firewall area of the dashboard. The driver was immediately secured.
CBP officers x-rayed the vehicle and spotted anomalies in the firewall, doors, quarter panels and sidewalls of the bed of the pick-up. CBP officers removed a total of 151 drug-filled bundles from the various hidden compartments.
CBP officers arrested the driver, 43-year-old Jose Marquez Santillan of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. He was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations special agents to face charges associated with the failed smuggling attempt.
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.