Rio Grande Valley Sector Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers assigned to the Hidalgo International Bridge seized more than 300 pounds of cocaine and methamphetamine during multiple smuggling attempts. The seizures have an estimated street value of nearly $6 million.
CBP Office of Field Operations (OFO) officers assigned to the international bridge that connects Hidalgo, Texas, with the key cartel drug smuggling town of Reynosa, Tamaulipas, disrupted three unrelated attempts as two Mexican nationals and a woman from Houston attempted to move cargo across the border. In total, the officers seized more than 30 pounds of cocaine and nearly 180 pounds of methamphetamine.
A CBP officer assigned to the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge on October 12 observed a white 2014 Ford Focus approaching for inspection for entry into the United States, officials reported. The officer referred the 24-year-old driver from Mexico to a secondary inspection station. Officers at the secondary inspection station carried out a search with the use of a non-intrusive imaging system. The search revealed 13 packages hidden within the car. The officers conducted a physical search of the car and found the 13 packages contained 32.36 pounds of cocaine. Officials estimated the street value of the cocaine to be approximately $250,000. The officers placed the Mexican man under arrest and seized the drugs and the vehicle.
Other officers working the same bridge that evening observed a 2008 Toyota Corolla approaching for entry to the U.S. and inspection. A K-9 officer alerted to the possible presence of drugs in the car. Other officers carried out a physical search of the Corolla and found 20 packages allegedly containing 152 pounds of methamphetamine. Officials estimated the drugs to be worth approximately 3,050,000. The officers arrested the 28-year-old Mexican woman from Reynosa and seized the vehicle and the drugs, according to the information provided by CBP officials.
Two days later, a 24-year-old woman from Houston attempted to re-enter the U.S. from Reynosa in a 1997 Ford Explorer. A CBP officer referred the woman, a U.S. citizen, to a secondary inspection station where officers found what they allege to be 126.72 pounds of liquid methamphetamine. CBP officials reported the street value of the methamphetamine to be $2,535,000. The officers placed the woman under arrest and seized the drugs and the vehicle.
Officials turned all three cases over to ICE Homeland Security Investigations.