EL PASO, Texas -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers working at the El Paso port of entry seized 1.32 pounds of cocaine Monday. The drugs were hidden in the shoes of a female border crosser.
“CBP officers will sometimes encounter people who try to smuggle drugs in their shoes,” said Severiano Solis, acting CBP El Paso Port Director. “Our attention to detail stopped this drug smuggler in her tracks.”
The seizure was made just before 7 p.m. when a female border crosser entered the Ysleta international crossing pedestrian inspection area from Mexico. CBP officers initiated a secondary exam during which they noticed that the woman’s shoes seemed unusually heavy. CBP officers also noticed that the inner soles were thick and bulky. CBP officers x-rayed the shoes and noted an anomaly in their appearance. The soles were probed revealing a white powder which tested positive for cocaine.
CBP officers took custody of the woman, 23-year-old Laura Valeria Ramirez of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. She was turned over to HSI special agents to faces charges in connection with the failed smuggling attempt.
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.