A U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) spokesman informed Breitbart Texas that on May 2, agents arrested two Mexican citizens attempting to smuggle $1.9 million worth of cocaine into the U.S.
Officers stopped the two male suspects, ages 22 and 21, as they attempted to cross the border over the Pharr International Bridge in their blue 2002 Jeep Liberty, according to reports from the CBP. Twenty-five packages containing about 60 pounds of cocaine were ultimately confiscated from the vehicle.
The pair are citizens of Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico, but each had a Mexican border-crossing card. The CBP spokesman told Breitbart Texas that such cards are relatively easy for Mexican nationals to obtain.
“They get border-crossing cards at a consulate in Mexico,” he said. “They have to apply for it and meet certain criteria. A lot of people are granted these cards so they can do shopping, and things of that nature, in the U.S.”
He added that, relatively speaking, the May 2 bust was not “extraordinary” in size but that “it was in the realm of large seizures. The drugs we encounter on the roads tend to be smaller in nature, compared to finding narcotics along the [Rio Grande] river, because they have to be concealed in vehicles. This particular bust would rank as being in the above average category.”
The spokesman said that agents have seen an increase in the trafficking of hard drugs, such as cocaine, heroin, and meth.
“Cocaine seems to be on the rise,” he said. “It is unknown exactly why, but the hard narcotics – coke, meth, and heroin included – have a higher street value than marijuana does. Cocaine can be compacted further than marijuana and has a higher value. That’s often why they choose to traffic that kind of drug.”
The suspects are currently in the custody of Homeland Security agents and will be charged criminally.
Efrain Solis Jr., the Port Director in Pharr, reacted to the recent confiscation in a statement, saying, “Our CBP frontline officers have once again met the challenge that drug smuggling organizations pose in their attempts to filter these dangerous narcotics across our borders. Protecting the homeland from these precarious efforts is a top priority within CBP Field Operations.”
Breitbart Texas has reported on similar hard-narcotics busts, which appear to be on the rise, on the Mexican border. Quite often, the suspects are Mexican nationals.
In April, for instance, $81,000 worth of meth and heroin was reportedly confiscated from a Mexican man. U.S. Border Patrol stated that the drugs were being held in several vacuum-sealed bags. The smuggler allegedly tried to hide the bags in his vehicle’s fuel tank.
Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate.