El Paso, Texas – El Paso, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at ports of entry in El Paso have identified and stopped two vehicles loaded with cocaine from entering the U.S. from Mexico. The seizure activity began Thursday and continued through Friday.
“CBP officers at the port of El Paso are working hard to disrupt the criminal smuggling organizations’ activity. These seizures are great examples of our officers’ vigilance and attention to detail,” said Hector Mancha, CBP El Paso Port Director.
The first seizure was made at the Ysleta international crossing at the El Paso port of entry at 9:08 pm Thursday when CBP officers seized 8.45 pounds of cocaine from a 52-year-old female from Juarez, Mexico. The seizure was made when a 1998 GMC Suburban was selected for inspection and CBP drug sniffing dog “Lass” alerted to the vehicle. CBP officers discovered three packages concealed in the vehicle. The contents of the bundles tested positive for cocaine with an approximate value of $270,400.
The second seizure was made at the Bridge of the Americas international crossing at 11:42 am Friday when CBP officers seized 20.20 pounds of cocaine from a 27-year-old male from Juarez, Mexico. The seizure was made when a 2000 Dodge Neon was selected for an intensive inspection and CBP drug sniffing dog “Frankie” alerted to the undercarriage of the vehicle. CBP officers discovered nine packages in a non-factory compartment located below the center console. The contents of the bundles tested positive for cocaine with an approximate value of $646,400.
CBP officers at the port arrested both drivers, Marisela Almuina and Pedro Lara Pina, respectively and turned them over to ICE-HSI special agents to face federal charges including importation of a controlled substance and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. Both are currently detained without bond at the El Paso County Jail.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.