EL PASO, TEXAS -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operation officers working at the El Paso port of entry seized 7.5 pounds of cocaine Wednesday. The drugs were concealed in a car. The female driver was arrested. Two children who were passengers in the vehicle were turned over to relatives.
“Unfortunately smugglers will use children in their attempts to blend in with legitimate traffic and avoid suspicion,” said CBP El Paso Port Director Beverly Good. “CBP officers understand that smugglers can include the very young, senior citizens, single drivers and those traveling as family units. The majority of travelers are law abiding but CBP remains vigilant.”
The seizure was made at approximately 5 p.m. at the Bridge of the Americas international crossing when a 2007 Nissan Maxima with three occupants arrived from Mexico. A CBP officer at the primary inspection booth directed the vehicle to the secondary inspection area.
CBP drug sniffing dog “Ozzy” searched the vehicle and alerted to the rear seat. CBP officers continued their exam and located three bundles in the rear seat. The contents of the packages tested positive for cocaine. The estimated street value of the drugs is $240,000.
CBP officers arrested the driver of the car, 27-year-old Claudia Elizabeth Hernandez Rodriguez of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. She 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.