HOUSTON, Texas — More than three tons of drugs were seized by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) in the El Paso, Texas area during the last seven days. A total of 28 drug busts were made during that time period.
About 6,000 pounds of marijuana, eight pounds of methamphetamine, and eight pounds of heroin were confiscated by officers during the seizures, according to a CBP press release. Some steroids were also seized by authorities during the busts.
About 5.7 pounds of heroin were discovered by authorities during one bust, which occurred on August 25, alone. A drug-sniffing dog ultimately discovered the drugs in one vehicle, which was being driven by a Mexican man. 25 heroin-filled packages were hidden in the oil pan of the vehicle.
According to CBP, the suspect in that drug bust was 28-year-old Humberto Ponce Oropeza. Oropeza is a resident of Sinaloa, Mexico; he is currently in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Breitbart Texas spoke with a spokesman from CBP’s El Paso Sector, who said that there has been an increase in apprehensions over the last year.
“We’ve seen a nine percent increase in the fiscal year in apprehensions,” the spokesman said. “We’re talking about roughly 10,800 last year to about 11,200 this year.” He pointed out, however, that not all apprehensions are drug-related.
“When we get any types of narcotics, there’s always someone in possession; most of the time, it’s an illegal alien,” he continued.
CBP El Paso Director of Field Operations Hector Mancha said in a statement, “Homeland security is our primary mission however the exams we perform to protect our nation also generate numerous drug seizures. Drug smuggling remains a consistent threat in our region. CBP officers understand that and their commitment to the agency mission is generating significant enforcement activity.”
Mancha continued, “This was a deeply concealed drug load. Significant time and energy was expended by the smugglers in an attempt to defeat the CBP inspection process.”
Large marijuana seizures have been frequent near the U.S.-Mexico border this year. Breitbart Texas reported in the Spring that $10 million drug busts are now a weekly occurrence in South Texas.
Many have speculated that Mexican cartels and drug smugglers are having a field day since the border is arguably porous. Breitbart Texas Managing Director Brandon Darby previously pointed out that many Border Patrol agents are currently busy taking care of the influx of unaccompanied minors from Central America instead of manning the U.S.-Mexico border.
In July, Breitbart Texas took grassroots leaders from across the state on a border tour, as to witness firsthand how unsecured the border is in many areas.
Follow Kristin Tate @KristinBTate.