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Van Horn Border Patrol Agents Seize 700 Pounds of Marijuana in 24 Hours

Release Date: 
December 6, 2019

VAN HORN, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol Agents seized approximately 700 pounds of marijuana in less than 24 hours with the assistance of air support and night vision technology.

VanHorn Maijuana Seizure
Agents seize marijuana with
help from technology and air

“Day or night, on foot or in the sky we will combat transnational criminal organizations with all available assets.” Big Bend Sector Chief Patrol Agent Matthew Hudak said, “These seizures reflect the unity of effort among law enforcement partners to keep our communities safe.”

On Sunday night Van Horn Agents responded to a group of individuals detected with night vision technology that appeared to have made illegal entry into the United States. When agents arrived at the individuals’ last known location, they discovered multiple sets of footprints traveling northbound. Agents tracked the footprints throughout the night.

On Monday, at approximately 4:00 a.m., agents with a service canine approached several individuals, believed to be the same spotted and tracked the previous night. The individuals absconded from the agents leaving behind seven make-shift rectangular burlap backpacks. The contents of the backpacks tested positive for marijuana and had a combined weight of over 400 pounds. 

At approximately 10:00 a.m., CBP Alpine Air Unit, utilizing an AS350 aircraft, observed five individuals with large rectangular backpacks in a desolate area south of Van Horn, Texas. A Texas Department of Public Safety Air Unit responded to the area and assisted in keeping the individuals from absconding. A short while later agents and a dog from Van Horn and Sierra Blanca Stations arrived at the location to effect an arrest. The agents were able to successfully arrest four out of the five subjects and seized five backpacks later determined to contain marijuana with a combined weight of approximately 300 pounds. Agents determined the individuals were citizens and nationals of Mexico illegally present in the United States.

Van Horn Agents are continuing to search for all absconded subjects. The subjects in custody and the narcotics seized were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration. 

Big Bend Sector Border Patrol agents patrol 517 miles of the southwest border, an area that extends from Sierra Blanca, Texas, to Sanderson, Texas. The Van Horn Station area of responsibility consists of 31.1 miles of border with Mexico, and approximately 4,965 square miles of terrain.

The U.S. Border Patrol is made up of over 19,000 brave men and women who courageously secure our nation’s borders. El Paso CBP AMO Air Branch has the largest AOR in the Southwest Region - all of New Mexico, all of Oklahoma, and West Texas, including all of Big Bend Sector. Help us secure our homeland, find out more at

Last modified: 
December 6, 2019