EL PASO, Texas — U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers working at El Paso area ports of entry recorded multiple violations the last two days while performing their vital homeland security mission.
“CBP officers seized marijuana and methamphetamine, a dozen agriculture violations, and arrested four NCIC fugitives while processing thousands of northbound travelers returning to the U.S. after spending the holidays in Mexico,” said Hector Mancha, CBP El Paso Director of Field Operations. “We are working hard to maintain the flow of legitimate trade and travel while identifying and stopping all threats we encounter.”
The largest recent drug seizure occurred Wednesday afternoon at the Bridge of the Americas international crossing when CBP officers stopped a traveler transporting 66 pounds of marijuana. The drugs were located in multiple locations of a 2011 Ford Focus including the bumpers, seats, dashboard and spare tire well. A total of 59 marijuana-filled packages were found in the car.
CBP officers took custody of the driver, a 42-year-old female Mexican citizen. She was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement HSI special agents to face charges associated with the failed drug smuggling attempt.
Later that same day CBP officers working at the Bridge of the Americas made a 46 pound marijuana seizure. The drugs were discovered in the doors and side panels of a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu being following a CBP x-ray scan and canine sweep of the car. A total of 44 bundles were located.
CBP officers took custody of the driver, an 18-year-old male Mexican citizen. He was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement HSI special agents to face charges associated with the failed drug smuggling attempt.
CBP officers also stopped two additional drug loads in the last two days including a 31-pound marijuana load and a 2.1 pound methamphetamine shipment.
In addition to the drug busts CBP personnel also made 12 seizure of prohibited agricultural items resulting in the assessment of $2,600 in penalties. CBP agriculture specialists seized pork lard, pork meat, pork rinds, bologna, raw poultry, kiwis, mangos, sugarcane, apples and oranges in those cases. CBP officers also apprehended four NCIC fugitives and seized counterfeit makeup during a busy 48-hour period.
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.