Over President’s Day weekend, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers in El Paso seized 2,160 pounds of marijuana that had an estimated street value of $1,728,000. While this was a larger than average seizer, finding large amounts of marijuana in ports like El Paso is not uncommon.
The weekend’s largest Import Seizure took place after 10 a.m. on October 9. the first load of drugs were hidden in a Chevrolet Silverado that came to the port from Mexico. CBP officers found an issue with the vehicle’s undercarriage which prompted a more thorough investigation.
After scanning the floor and tailgate, the CBP officials felt there was a problem due to high readings, so they brought in a drug sniffing dog. When the dog alerted to the presence of drugs, the officials scanned the vehicle with x-rays. This found abnormalities on the floor and bed of the vehicle. After taking the vehicle apart, the officers found 202 bundles hidden throughout the vehicle. A total of 421 pounds of drugs were found in bundles on the floor of the vehicle. Several other seizures also occurred over the weekend.
As a result of this discovery, CBP officers arrested a Mexican citizen who was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations. The culprit will likely face charges of attempted smuggling.
The CBP is responsible for not only ensuring the quality of the products sold in the United States, protecting people from counterfeit items and the overall security of the United States. Sometimes the vigilance required to perform that mission leads to the discovery of other legal violations, such as drug smuggling.