Pharr, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge arrested three Guatemalan men in connection with a seizure and alleged attempt to smuggle heroin valued at $745,000.
On September 2, shortly after noon, a Mexican taxicab arrived at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge and three passengers presented their Guatemalan passports with U.S. visas. A CBP officer referred the taxi and occupants to secondary for further inspection. During the secondary inspection officers discovered that the three male travelers ages 28, 25 and 26 could possibly be internal carriers and were transported to a local hospital for further examination and a medical evaluation.
At the hospital the three men passed a total of 268 pellets filled with alleged brown heroin. The three men passed 95 (2.60 lbs), 91 (2.51 lbs) and 82 (2.34 lbs) pellets respectively for a total combined weight of 7.45 pounds. CBP seized the narcotics which have a combined total estimated street value of $745,000.
"Our officers made a huge discovery and seizure by intercepting these internal body carriers," said Efrain Solis Jr., port director, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas. "Ingesting narcotics for conveyance is an unusual means of transport and one that is not common along the Southwest land border, but our officers' excellent inspection skills and observational techniques have allowed us to make this exceptional interception."
All three male travelers were released to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents for further investigation after being medically cleared from the hospital.
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.