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Brian Luke Community Blogger, WGRZ-TV

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Officers Seize Over $460,000 in Cocaine and Marijuana at Brownsville Port of

U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Officers Seize Over $460,000 in Cocaine and Marijuana at Brownsville Port of

Brownsville, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers
at the Gateway and Brownsville and Matamoros International Bridges over the
weekend discovered cocaine and marijuana valued at approximately $460,300
concealed within three vehicles in three separate enforcement actions.


Marijuana Concealment Method

The first discovery took place on Saturday, March 26, 2011 at
Brownsville and Matamoros International Bridge when a primary CBP officer
encountered a 2000 Chevrolet Blazer driven by a male driver identified as a
52-year-old Mexico citizen who resides in Brownsville, Texas. The primary CBP
officer referred the Blazer for a secondary examination. In secondary CBP
officers discovered 16 packages hidden within the Chevrolet.
CBP officers removed the packages from the vehicle which had a
combined total weight of 44 kilograms (97 pounds) of alleged marijuana.

In a second case at the B&M International Bridge on Saturday,
March 26, 2011 CBP officers came in contact with a man driving a 1998 Ford
Windstar. The driver identified as a 40--year-old Mexico citizen who resides in
Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico was referred to CBP secondary after a primary
inspection revealed abnormalities within the Ford. In secondary CBP officers’
examination resulted in the discovery of 32 packages of alleged marijuana
concealed within the Ford. CBP officers removed the 32 packages from the
Windstar which had a combined total weight of 28.36 kilograms (62.5 pounds) of
alleged marijuana.

The third case, on Sunday, March 27, 2011 CBP officers at the Gateway
International Bridge stopped a male driving a gray 2002 Volkswagen Jetta for a
primary inspection. The driver identified as a 50-year-old male U.S. citizen
accompanied by four minor children and three dogs and resides in West Beach,
Florida was referred to secondary for further inspection. Examination by CBP
officers in secondary revealed 12 hidden packages concealed within the VW. CBP
officers removed the packages from the vehicle which had a combined total weight
of 4.28 kilograms (9.4 pounds) of alleged cocaine.

The approximate street value for the first two marijuana loads were
$97,000 and $62,500 respectively. The alleged cocaine from these seizures has an
estimated street value of approximately $300,800. CBP officers turned the three
men over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security
Investigations (ICE-HSI) special agents for further investigation. CBP officers
seized the narcotics and the vehicles.

“Vigilance by primary CBP officers contributed to the seizures of
these loads of dangerous narcotics. This exemplifies the great work being done
by CBP officers at the Brownsville Port of Entry in the war against drugs,” said
Michael Freeman, CBP Port Director, Brownsville.

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.

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