The weekend round-up of drug shipments being smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico resulted in the seizure of over $1.5 million in illegal contraband in a three-day period.
Officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) discovered large shipments of marijuana and hard narcotics at multiple ports of entry along the U.S./Mexico border over the weekend, according to information obtained from CBP by Breitbart Texas.
Beginning in Texas, officers seized $267,580 worth of cocaine that was being smuggled across Laredo’s Lincoln-Juarez Bridge on Sunday. A 2008 Volkswagen Passat being driven by a 20-year-old U.S. citizen from San Antonio was asked to move his vehicle to a secondary inspection station. A K-9 officer alerted to the scent of the drugs. Officers conducted a more invasive search of the car and discovered thirty-four pounds cocaine. The drugs and vehicle were seized and the driver was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for possible prosecution.
Officers working ports of entry near Nogales, Arizona, also landed drug seizures as their inspections found heroin and methamphetamine in two separate incidents. A 24-year-old Mexican national was entering the U.S. on Saturday through the Dennis DeConcini Crossing in a Chrysler sedan. Following a K-9 officer’s alert to the scent of drugs, officers found twenty-three pounds of meth and three pounds of heroin. The combined value of the drugs totaled more than $113,000. The narcotics were discovered hidden in the front bumper of the vehicle.
Two days later, a 32-year-old woman, a U.S. citizen crossed through the Mariposa border crossing point in a Chevy van, CBP officials revealed. Following a K-9 alert to the presence of drugs, officers found three pounds of heroin valued at around $48.000. The drugs were discovered hidden in the front fender of the van.
The vehicles and drugs were seized and the suspects were turned over to HSI for possible prosecution.
An inspection of a commercial vehicle in Calexico, California, led to the seizure of more than a ton of marijuana. The inspection occurred on Monday at the Calexico East commercial facility where CBP officials process the massive number of cargo shipments from Mexcio into southern California.
A detailed search of the 18-wheeler’s trailer began after a K-9 officer alerted to the scent of the drugs. Officers began an investigation of the trailer and discovered panels in the roof that were used to hide the marijuana.
Officers found 232 bundles of what tested positive for marijuana being smuggled into a state where marijuana has been legalized in many circumstances. The load of marijuana was weighed at just under 2,500 pounds. Officials placed the value of the load at about $1 million.
The drugs and the vehicle were seized by CBP officials and the 28-year-old Mexican resident of Mexicali, Baja California, was turned over to HSI investigators for processing.
“Calexico CBP officers processed hundreds of commercial shipments that day and identified that this conveyance needed a more intensive inspection,” Calexico Port Director David Salazar said in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. “As a result, the officers stopped more than a ton of marijuana from entering our community, and prevented one million dollars in potential profit from reaching criminal organizations.”