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Marijuana found stuffed in tire, gas tank at Texas port

Marijuana found stuffed in tire, gas tank at Texas port

POSTED: Monday, September 24, 2012 - 8:49pm

UPDATED: Monday, September 24, 2012 - 8:50pm

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at the Fabens port of entry seized 754 pounds of marijuana Saturday. It was one of seven drug busts totaling 1,337 pounds made by area CBP officers this weekend.

“Smugglers left no void empty in sending this vehicle across the border,” said CBP Fabens Port Director Donna Sifford. “CBP officers removed drugs from no fewer than eight different locations in the pick-up truck.”

The seizure was made just after 9 a.m. when a pickup truck entered the port from Mexico. A CBP officer interviewed the driver and then selected the vehicle for a secondary inspection. CBP drug sniffing dog “Eros” searched the truck and alerted to the presence of drugs. An x-ray scan of the vehicle identified suspicious packaging in the gas tank, front and rear fenders, door, tailgate, dashboard, backset and spare tire. CBP officers removed a total 704 bundles weighing 754 pounds.

“This is a huge quantity to be hidden in a passenger vehicle,” said Sifford. “Rarely do we encounter this amount of contraband in a pick-up truck.”

CBP officers took custody of the driver, 38-year-old Maria Teresa Leos, of Clint, Texas. She was arrested by HSI special agents to face federal charges in connection with the failed smuggling attempt. She is currently being held without bond at the El Paso County Jail.

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