BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Gateway and Brownsville and Matamoros International Bridges intercepted two loads of alleged cocaine. CBP officers discovered the alleged narcotics, valued at nearly $1.3 million, hidden within a Nissan Altima and a Ford Grand Marquis in two separate enforcement actions.
The first of these two cases took place on May 1, when CBP officers working primary at Gateway International Bridge encountered a gray 2004 Nissan Altima driven by a woman. A CBP officer's primary examination resulted in the vehicle and its driver, identified as a 33-year-old Mexican citizen who resides in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico being referred to CBP secondary for further examination. While in secondary, CBP officers discovered eight hidden packages within a non-factory compartment. CBP officers removed the packages from the vehicle which held a combined total weight of 8.64 kilograms (19 pounds) of alleged cocaine.
In a second case, this one occurring on Saturday May 4, at the Brownsville and Matamoros International Bridge, CBP officers came in contact with a brown 1990 Ford Grand Marquis being driven by a 45-year-old woman, identified as a Mexican citizen and resident of Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico. After a primary inspection, a CBP officer referred the Ford for a secondary examination. In secondary, CBP officers discovered eight packages hidden within the Grand Marquis. CBP officers removed the packages containing approximately 9.28 kilograms (20.5 pounds) of alleged cocaine.
The alleged cocaine from these seizures has an estimated street value of approximately $608,000 and $656,000, respectively. CBP officers seized the narcotics and the vehicles and turned the women over to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents for further investigation.
"Nearly 40 pounds of alleged cocaine has been intercepted by our frontline CBP officers thus preventing these dangerous drugs from our school yards and the street of our communities. I applaud our officers for the outstanding work they undertake every day," said Michael T. Freeman, CBP port director, Brownsville.
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.