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Border Patrol Seize 33 Pounds of Cocaine At Point of Entry

January 14, 2015  |  Posted by: Giovanni DePhillips
Border Patrol Seize 33 Pounds of Cocaine At Point of Entry Image courtesy of oaoa.com

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EL PASO – In a drug bust at the El Paso point of entry from Mexico, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operation officers uncovered 33.4 pounds of cocaine on Saturday.

The drug bust was one of nine drug seizures made by CBP officers working at area ports over the weekend.

Officers also arrested several wanted subjects, intercepted prohibited agricultural items and seized unreported currency during the three-day period, according to a news release.

The most significant seizure of the weekend, according to the release, occurred at about 11:20 a.m. Saturday at the Paso Del Norte international crossing at the El Paso port of entry when a 2007 Volkswagen Jetta entered the port from Mexico.

A Customs Border Protection officer at the primary inspection booth interviewed the driver of the car and then selected the vehicle for a secondary exam. CBP drug sniffing dog “Gino” alerted to the rocker panel area of the car during the canine sweep.

An officer used a “Buster” density meter to examine the rocker panels and received high readings consistent with hidden contraband. Officers scanned the vehicle with the Z-Portal X-ray system which helped officers identify an anomaly in the appearance of the vehicle, they then located 16 cocaine-filled bundles hidden in the rocker panels of the car.

The drugs weighed 33.4 pounds.
The driver of the car, 20-year-old Ricardo Lopez Estrada of Guadalajara, Mexico, was arrested and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations special agents to face charges associated with the failed smuggling attempt and booked into the El Paso County jail.

Over the weekend, officers also made six marijuana seizures, two cocaine seizures and one methamphetamine seizure.

They also apprehended three FBI fugitives and seized $19,570 in unreported currency. Agriculture specialists seized prohibited oranges, apples, guavas, limes, plums sugarcane and seeds assessing penalties of $1,125.

“CBP officers continue to work hard to separate the violators from the thousands of law abiding travelers using our area ports on a daily basis,” said CBP El Paso Director of Field Operations Hector Mancha. “Legitimate trade and travel continues while vigilant CBP officers stop those who elect to break the law.”

From the Star Tribune

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