U.S. CBP Officers Seize Nearly $5 Million in Cocaine and Marijuana at Rio Grande Valley Ports of Entry
SOUTH TEXAS—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Rio Grande Valley international bridges seized approximately $4,954,112 worth of cocaine and marijuana discovered in five separate enforcement actions within the past week.
On Wednesday, February 1, at the Brownsville and Matamoros International Bridge, a primary inspection by CBP officers of a white 2003 Jeep Liberty driven by a 22-year-old male U.S. citizen who resides in Brownsville, Texas, resulted in the driver and vehicle being escorted for a secondary examination. At secondary, CBP officers discovered 12 packages concealed within the vehicle. CBP officers' examination of the packages revealed a combined weight of 13.24 kilograms (29.189 pounds) of alleged cocaine.
The second case at the Brownsville and Matamoros International Bridge took place on Friday, February 3, when a man arrived at the port of entry as the driver of a 2002 Pontiac Sunfire. The male, identified as a 22-year-old male U.S. citizen who resides in Los Fresnos, Texas, was selected and escorted to a secondary inspection. In secondary CBP officers discovered seven packages concealed within the Pontiac. The seven packages were removed and held a combined total weight of 8.28 kilograms (18.254 pounds) of alleged cocaine.
This past week the third case at the Brownsville and Matamoros International Bridge involved a 1999 Chevrolet Venture driven by a 21-year-old male Mexican citizen who resides in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico. A CBP officer's primary inspection resulted in the Chevrolet and its driver being referred to secondary for further examination. At secondary, CBP officers discovered 21 packages hidden within the Chevrolet Venture. CBP officers removed the packages which contained alleged cocaine with a total weight of 26.3 kilograms (57.981 pounds) of alleged marijuana.
At the Pharr Port of Entry on February 1, a primary inspection by CBP officers of a 1999 Mercury Sable driven by a 21-year-old male Mexican citizen who resides in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico, resulted in the driver and vehicle being escorted for a secondary examination. At secondary, CBP officers discovered 16 packages concealed within the Sable. CBP officers' inspection of the packages revealed a combined weight of 18.46 kilograms (40.697 pounds) of alleged cocaine.
The last and largest narcotics load discovered by CBP officers this past week took place on February 3, at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge when CBP officers stopped a Freightliner tractor and utility refrigerated trailer at the CBP cargo facility. The conveyances were referred to secondary for further inspection. CBP inspection of the tractor trailer in cargo secondary revealed 349 packages concealed within the trailer. CBP officers removed the packages from the trailer which had a total weight of 941.50 kilograms (2075.651 pounds) of alleged marijuana.
The cocaine and marijuana from these seizures have an estimated street value of approximately $4,954,112. CBP officers turned the men over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) special agents for further investigation. In all cases CBP officers seized the narcotics and the vehicles.
"Nearly $5 million in alleged narcotics has been stopped by our CBP officers working diligently as our country's frontline defenders. I congratulate our CBP officers for their outstanding interceptions and continued vigilance on the border," said Gene Garza, Director, Field Operations, Laredo Field Office.
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.