Border Officers Busy with Drug Interdiction

The flow of illegal drugs is, and always has been, a security threat to this country. On Monday, July 20, Customs and Border Protection officers were busy with drug busts and apprehending loads of illegal drugs.

While it is likely only a dent in the daily drug border trade, it is important to remember the service this agency is providing. Here are some of the interdictions made on Monday, from California to Texas.

Salton City, CA. CBP agents seized methamphetamine at the Highway 86 checkpoint. A search of the vehicle revealed two packages hidden under the vehicle’s front seats. The bundles were wrapped in camouflage duct tape in attempt to further conceal the packages from view. A woman driving a black 2013 Acura approached the checkpoint for inspection. A Border Patrol canine detection team alerted to the vehicle. Agents sent the vehicle to secondary inspection for further investigation. The total weight of the methamphetamine was 11.11 pounds with an estimated street value of $24,991.

Otay Mesa, CA. At a commercial facility, CBP officers discovered 614 pounds of methamphetamine hidden in a shipment of green onions. A 31-year-old Mexican citizen was driving a tractor trailer with a manifest of “mint leaves and other spices,” was stopped. The vehicle was processed through an X-ray imaging system where officers identified anomalies, and sent the shipment for a more intensive search. A CBP canine team screened the vehicle and alerted officers to the shipment. CBP found 614 pounds of methamphetamine hidden among the green onions. Officers found 40 wrapped packages of the drug. The estimated street value is $1.4 million. The tractor, trailer and narcotics were seized.

Laredo, TX. The CBP Office of Field Operations (OFO) officers at the Juarez-Lincoln Bridge intercepted methamphetamine totaling more than $1.3 million in street value. “Drug smuggling organizations attempt to smuggle contraband into the U.S. daily,” said Port Director Gregory Alvarez, Laredo Port of Entry. “Though their methods range in complexity, our officers maintain their vigilance through vigorous enforcement operations.” Packages containing 69 pounds of methamphetamine seized by CBP officers at Laredo's Juarez-Lincoln Bridge. A 2007 Chevrolet Express van making entry from Mexico for secondary inspection. CBP officers examined the vehicle using a non-intrusive imaging system examination, resulting in the discovery of the narcotics.

Edinburg, TX. Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol agents foiled five separate drug smuggling attempts that led to the seizure of more than 1,300 pounds of marijuana. Brownsville agents observed a white Dodge pickup leaving the Rio Grande at a high rate of speed and drive into a nearby neighborhood. Agents located the truck abandoned along the side of the road with several bundles of marijuana inside. The drugs weighed more than 250 pounds and are valued at more than $206K.

El Refugio, TX. Agents observed several subjects load multiple bundles of drugs into a black Chevrolet Tahoe parked near the Rio Grande. As the agents approached the vehicle, the smugglers jumped into the river and swam to Mexico. Agents seized the vehicle along with 345 pounds of marijuana worth $276,000.

Garceno, TX. Agents attempted to conduct a traffic stop of a Ford-F250 suspected of transporting drugs. The driver refused to yield and led agents on a pursuit as they traveled back toward the Rio Grande. The pursuit came to an end after the driver intentionally drove into the river. Agents recovered over 640 pounds of marijuana worth more than $515,000.

Kingsville, TX. Agents working at the Javier Vega, Jr. checkpoint referred a white Ford F150 to the secondary inspection area after a Border Patrol K-9 alerted. The driver fled at a high rate of speed but agents found the vehicle parked on the side of the road still occupied by the driver and passenger. Agents arrested both subjects and seized more than 35 pounds of marijuana. The drugs are valued at more than $30,000.

La Joya, TX. Agents seized nearly 70 pounds of marijuana worth more than $55,000 after a drug smuggler led agents in a pursuit but was caught and arrested.

Fajardo, PR. CBP’s Air and Marine Operations (AMO) agents seized 43 pounds of cocaine and arrested a man attempting to elude detection near Playa Colorá. The narcotics have an estimated street value is $485,000. During patrol, an AMO Marine Unit encountered a vessel navigating at full speed west towards Fajardo. Law enforcement spotted the occupants throw a bag into the water, and change course. The AMO Unit pursued. The vessel made a hard landfall in Playa Colorá, Fajardo, where Marine Interdiction Agents (MIA) were able to arrest one of the occupants. The MIA’s recovered a duffle bag where they found 17 bricks that field tested positive to the properties of cocaine.

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