El Paso, Texas -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the El Paso port of entry seized 4.4 pounds of cocaine Sunday. The drugs were strapped to the legs of a female pedestrian who entered the facility from Mexico.
"This is a sizeable cocaine load and a significant loss to a drug smuggling organization," said CBP El Paso Port Director Hector Mancha. "CBP officers quickly and efficiently process thousands of law abiding pedestrians on a daily basis while also identifying those who willingly violate the laws of our nation."
The seizure was made just before 9 p.m., when 27-year-old Bianca Evangelica Gutierrez of Roswell, New Mexico, entered the Paso Del Norte pedestrian facility from Mexico. A CBP officer selected her for a secondary exam during which CBP officers detected unusual lumps on her legs. A more thorough exam revealed four cocaine-filled packages strapped to the backs of her thighs.
CBP officers apprehended the female and contacted U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Homeland Security Investigations. HSI agents arrested Gutierrez on federal drug smuggling charges and booked her into the El Paso county jail where she is currently being held without bond.
While anti-terrorism is the primary mission of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the inspection process at the ports of entry associated with this mission results in impressive numbers of enforcement actions in all categories.
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.