Undeterred by Floods, CBP Officers Make Multiple Seizures at Laredo Port of Entry
Laredo, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Laredo port of entry can certainly relate to the cliché "when it rains it pours" as they did not let the flood waters dampen their interdiction efforts that resulted in the seizure of 47 pounds of heroin; $272,224 in undeclared U.S. currency; 1,048 rounds of ammunition; one firearm; and nine pounds of crystal meth in six separate enforcement actions in the past three days.
The most noteworthy of the enforcement actions occurred on Thursday, July 8 at the Lincoln Juarez International Bridge when a 2008 Dodge Avenger driven by a 41-year-old male Mexican citizen from Dallas was referred for a secondary inspection. At secondary, a CBP officer discovered 28 bundles containing 45 pounds of heroin within the vehicle. The heroin has a street value of $4.5 million.
The rest of the enforcement actions all occurred on Wednesday, July 7. The latest of the smuggling attempts thwarted that day happened when CBP Field Operations officers and Border Patrol agents who were conducting outbound (southbound) inspections referred a 2006 Ford Fiesta driven by a 38-year-old male Mexican from national Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico for a random secondary inspection. At secondary, CBP officers and agents conducted an intensive examination of the vehicle that led to the discovery of 12 bundles containing undeclared U.S. currency totaling $102,020; one rifle; a rifle scope; one rifle magazine and 1,048 rounds of ammunition within the vehicle.
The next seizure occurred when CBP officers referred a 32-year-old female from Fort Worth who had arrived as a passenger in a commercial taxi for a secondary inspection. That inspection resulted in CBP officers finding two bundles containing two pounds of heroin on the woman's body. The heroin is valued at $200,000.
That seizure followed two other interceptions of undeclared currency that CBP officers and agents who were conducting outbound (southbound) inspections had discovered just earlier. The first of the two back-to-back currency seizures occurred when a CBP officer referred a commercial taxi with a passenger for a secondary inspection. A Border Patrol agent conducted an intensive inspection of the footwear of a 46-year-old Mexican citizen from Sanger, California and discovered four bundles of undeclared U.S. currency totaling $90,204 within the man's sandals. The second undeclared currency seizure, just minutes later, occurred when CBP officers referred yet another commercial taxi with a passenger for a secondary inspection. That inspection resulted in the discovery of four bundles of undeclared currency within that man's footwear. The total amount of currency for that seizure was $80,000.
The last seizure intercepted that day occurred when CBP officers referred a 2004 Honda Accord driven by a 37-year-old female U.S. citizen from Hickory, North Carolina for a secondary inspection. CBP officers inspecting that vehicle found eight bundles containing nine pounds of crystal meth with a street value of $135,000 within the vehicle.
CBP officers arrested the six persons involved in these attempted smuggling cases and turned them all over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents for further investigation.
CBP officers also seized all the contraband and the three vehicles that were used to conceal the contraband.
"While the City of Laredo was enduring record flood levels, CBP officers intercepted record amounts of heroin worth millions of dollars and stopped contraband from being taken out of the country, too," said Gene Garza, port director, Laredo, Texas. "Our officers certainly remained focused on our mission throughout this time of emergency these past three days in both the northbound and southbound inspection areas."
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.