Donna, Texas - Agents assigned to Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) U.S. Border Patrol Weslaco Station seized more than 1,000 pounds of marijuana Tuesday.
The event transpired at about 11:30 a.m. when a Border Patrol boat unit patrolling the Rio Grande disrupted a narcotics smuggling attempt. As the agents rounded a bend in the river, a group of men on the U.S. side dove into the water and swam to Mexico. The agents noticed a rope tethered to a tree stump in Mexico that was strung across the river. The rope guided the agents to an abandoned 20-foot-long Jon boat, an inflatable raft, and an inner tube afloat near the U.S. riverbank. Close by, in the dense brush, agents discovered 10 heavy bundles of marijuana. It is believed that the rope was being used by the smugglers to tug their narcotics-laden vessels across the river. The marijuana is valued at close to $850,000.
"The use of a rope by smugglers to ferry marijuana across the river is an example of the ever-changing methods they employ to bring their contraband into the country," said Acting Chief Patrol Agent Armando Mercado Jr. "However, through the vigilance of our boat units, who are at the forefront of securing our borders, the smugglers efforts, although creative, were unsuccessful."
The Drug Enforcement Administration assumed custody of the narcotics.
To report suspicious activity, call the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector's toll-free telephone number at 1-800-863-9382.
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.