U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized 427 pounds of cocaine, valued at more than $3 million, during the inspection of a tractor-trailer attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border last week.
Laredo Port Director Albert Flores issued a statement applauding the efforts of those CBP officers involved in preventing the narcotics from entering the country.
"Our frontline officers continue to maintain strict vigilance in the commercial truck environment and their effective utilization of training, inspections experience, and technology successfully prevented a significant load of cocaine from ever reaching U.S. streets," Flores said.
On April 8, an officer at the Laredo port of entry encountered a commercial truck that arrived from Mexico carrying paper-mâché of glass handicrafts, and the officer subjected the truck to a second inspection. The secondary inspection produced 101 packages of cocaine.
"After conducting a thorough secondary examination, which included utilization of non-intrusive inspection (NII) equipment, CBP officers discovered 101 packages containing a total of 427 pounds (193.8 kg) of alleged cocaine concealed within the conveyance. The cocaine had an estimated street value of $3.2 million," the CBP said in a statement.
The same day, CBP officers in El Paso seized 47 pounds of cocaine during a vehicular inspection at a border crossing site, the agency said.
"CBP is dedicated to upholding our important border security mission," CBP El Paso Director of Field Operations Hector Mancha said in a statement regarding the incident on April 8. "This seizure is an example of the vigilance and dedication by CBP Officers to disrupt the flow of illegal narcotics and keep them out of our communities."
The cocaine, valued at more than $500,000, was found by CBP officers and CBP canine enforcement officers, who inspected the vehicle of a 49-year-old female attempting to enter the country from Mexico, the agency said. The female is believed to be a citizen of Mexico.
CBP said its canines, which are trained to detect the odor of narcotics, raised an alarm and officers carried out a thorough inspection of the vehicle.
The CBP officers then discovered 20 packages of cocaine in vehicle panels and the driver was turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement to be prosecuted, the agency said.