Santa Teresa, N.M. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at the Santa Teresa port of entry made a large drug seizure on Saturday. They seized 319 pounds of marijuana concealed in a 2001 Chevrolet Silverado.
The seizure was made at approximately 8:30 a.m. Saturday. CBP officers were conducting an enforcement operation in the line of vehicles before the primary inspection booth when they selected a vehicle for inspection. CBP drug sniffing dog “Dolar” alerted to the presence of a narcotic odor in the undercarriage of the vehicle. The truck was moved to a secondary inspection area. CBP officers located 226 marijuana-filled bundles concealed in floor and bed of the pickup truck.
“Drug trafficking organizations will utilize unthinkable ways to smuggle their contraband into the United States, however, the vigilance and hard work of CBP officers demonstrates that we are always ready to meet their challenge,” said Joanne Thale-Lembo, CBP port director at the Santa Teresa port of entry.
The driver of the vehicle, 46-year-old Eleuterio Pina Aguirre, of Nuevo Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, Mexico was apprehended by CBP officer. He was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations and transported to the Dona Ana County detention facility pending federal prosecution.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers’ primary mission is anti-terrorism; they screen all people, vehicles, and goods entering the United States, while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel into and out of the United States. Their mission also includes carrying out traditional border-related responsibilities, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration law, protecting the nation’s food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases, and enforcing trade laws.
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 official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.