U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers at the El Paso port of entry arrested 27-year-old Claudia Elizabeth Hernandez Rodriguez of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico after a failed attempt at smuggling cocaine across the border. Rodriguez crossed with the 7.5 pound stash, worth an estimated $240,000, using two children as her cover.
“Unfortunately, smugglers will use children in their attempts to blend in with legitimate traffic and avoid suspicion,” says CBP El Paso Port Director Beverly Good. “CBP officers understand that smugglers can include the very young, senior citizens, single drivers and those traveling as family units. The majority of travelers are law abiding, but CBP remains vigilant.”
Rodriguez attempted to cross the border with her two young passengers in a 2007 Nissan Maxima via the Bridge of the Americas international crossing at approximately 5 p.m. last Wednesday, according to a press release obtained by Breitbart Texas. A CBP officer at the first checkpoint instructed Rodriguez to go to a second checkpoint where “Ozzy,” a CBP drug sniffing dog, conducted a search and alerted to the rear seat of the vehicle. CBP officers continued the search and found three large bundles, totalling 7.5 pounds, that tested positive for cocaine.
The driver of the car, Claudia Elizabeth Hernandez Rodriguez, was arrested and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations special agents to face charges. The two children she used as cover were turned over to relatives.