Texas CBP Officers Seize More than 17 Pounds in Cocaine
El Paso, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the El Paso port of entry Wednesday, made a 17.49 pound cocaine seizure with an estimated value of $559,680.
"This load of cocaine will not enter our communities and harm our children thanks in large part to the great work being done by our CBP officers on the frontline," said Hector Mancha, CBP El Paso Port Director.
The seizure was made at the Paso Del Norte crossing at approximately 12:10 p.m. when a 2005 Chevrolet Silverado arrived at the port from Mexico. A CBP officer at the primary inspection selected the vehicle for further examination and referred it to secondary. CBP drug sniffing dog "Max" searched the vehicle and alerted to the trunk area. The vehicle was taken to a separate inspection area where an extensive inspection of the vehicle was conducted. CBP officers discovered seven cocaine-filled packages concealed in a non-factory compartment in the floor area of the trunk. The contents of the bundles tested positive for cocaine.
CBP officers at the port arrested the driver, 20-year-old Jessica Zamarripa, of El Paso. She was turned over to ICE-HSI special agents after the case was accepted for federal prosecution and booked into the El Paso County jail. She remains in custody and is being held without bond.
In addition to the cocaine bust, CBP officers working at the El Paso port of entry made two marijuana seizures with an approximate weight of 180.45 pounds.
In addition to the drug seizures, CBP officers recorded 11 immigration violations at the El Paso port of entry including seven intended immigrants, two impostors and two alien smugglers. Intended immigrants will use a legally issued border-crossing card (laser visa) to live or work in the U.S., which is not authorized. They also lose their documents and are generally returned to Mexico. Impostors generally will use a legitimate entry document assigned to another person and present it as their own. Violators generally lose their documents, can be prosecuted and go to jail and/or are returned to Mexico. Alien smugglers are prosecuted and go to jail. They also identified one vehicle export violation generating a $500 penalty.
CBP officers also took one fugitive from justice into custody who was being sought on an outstanding warrant.
CBP officers working at the El Paso port of entry made two seizures of prohibited agricultural items. Violators paid $350 in penalties in association with the violations. Prohibited food products seized were fresh peaches.
CBP Field Operations is responsible for securing our borders at the ports of entry. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers' primary mission is anti-terrorism; they screen all people, vehicles, and goods entering the United States, while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel into and out of the U.S. Their mission also includes carrying out traditional border-related responsibilities, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration law, protecting the nation's food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases, and enforcing trade laws.
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.