Federal authorities seized nearly $7 million in crystal methamphetamine at two international border bridges in south Texas in one week.
Officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) assigned to the World Trade Center International Bridge in Laredo, Texas, observed a 2004 Chevrolet Suburban crossing from Mexico. The driver was instructed to pull up to a secondary inspection station to be checked further, according to information obtained in an email on Wednesday Breitbart Texas from CBP officials. A K-9 officer alerted to the possible presence of drugs in the vehicle. A non-intrusive inspection of the vehicle revealed anomalies in the shipment of fiberglass pottery being transported by the driver.
Agents carried out a physical inspection of the shipment and discovered 45 fiberglass pots were packed with the illicit drug. The crystal meth was weighed by CBP officers and determined to be more than 200 pounds. CBP officials estimate the value of the shipment at $4,030,008. The drugs and the Suburban were seized by the officers. The suspect, a U.S. citizen from Laredo, was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations for possible drug smuggling charges. The incident took place on December 22, 2016.
“I commend our CBP officers for their hard work and attention to detail,” acting Laredo Port of Entry Port Director Francisco Garcia said in a written statement. “CBP has numerous layers of enforcement and our officers will go above and beyond to keep these illicit drugs from entering our country and affecting our community.”
The World Trade Center International Bridge is the location where then-presidential candidate Donald Trump visited in July 2015 where he was briefed on border security by Border Patrol agents from the National Border Patrol Council and CBP officials, Breitbart Texas reported.
Two days before this incident, CBP officers working the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge in the Rio Grande Valley observed a grey 2006 Chevrolet Tahoe crossing from Mexico. She approached the border crossing via the Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection (SENTRI) lane but failed to stop at the primary inspection station. Officers quickly stopped the woman, a 26-year-old U.S. citizen from Kansas City, Missouri, and escorted her to the inspection station.
Officers used a non-intrusive imaging system to inspect the vehicle after K-9 officers alerted to the possible presence of drugs. A physical inspection revealed 24 packages of what would later test positive for methamphetamine. The drugs were concealed inside the vehicle. The drugs, weighing 129.19 pounds, were valued by officials at an estimated $2,583,791.
Officers arrested the woman and seized the drugs and vehicle. They were turned over to Homeland Security Investigations for further investigation.
“Our officers are always vigilant and prepared to respond to these type of situations, they are our nation’s front line,” Port Director Efrain Solis Jr., Hidalgo/Phar/Anzalduas Port of Entry, said in a written statement. “This interception prevented a significant quantity of hard narcotics from entering our country and negatively impacting our nation.”