El Paso, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the El Paso port of entry made a marijuana seizure weighing more than 170 pounds yesterday. The seizure was one of four marijuana drug busts CBP officers made in a day resulting in the confiscation of 482.42 pounds with an approximate value of $385,936.
The largest of the marijuana seizures was made in the vehicular inspection area of the Bridge of the Americas at 12 p.m. when a male driving a 1990 Dodge pick-up arrived from Mexico. A CBP officer at the primary inspection booth noticed inconsistencies in the gas tank of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to a separate inspection area where an extensive inspection of the vehicle was conducted. CBP drug sniffing dog "Fredi" searched the vehicle and alerted to the presence of narcotics. CBP officers discovered two metal boxes within the gas tank containing one bale each for a total weight of 173.36 pounds. The contents of the bales tested positive for marijuana.
"Smuggling organizations will use every imaginable concealment method to get the narcotics through our international ports of entry," said Hector Mancha, CBP El Paso Port Director. "Anti-Terrorism is our primary mission but we are still focused on enforcement of illegal contraband."
CBP officers arrested 41-year-old Daniel Alan Thilburg of Edgewood, New Mexico. He was turned over to ICE-HSI special agents after the case was accepted for federal prosecution. Thilburg was booked into the El Paso county jail and is currently being held without bond.
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.