PHARR, TX — Officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Pharr, Anzalduas and Rio Grande City International Bridges seized $6,452,000 worth of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin in four separate, unrelated incidents and arrested four persons in connection with these failed smuggling attempts.
“This was a busy and productive weekend for our frontline officers in the Rio Grande Valley area,” said (a) Director of Field Operations, Noel Sanchez. “These interceptions of hard narcotics at distinct international bridges reinforce the trend of drug smuggling organizations to continue their pursuit of attempting to cross these illicit drugs utilizing various concealment methods.”
The incident at the Rio Grande City-Camargo International Bridge occurred on Saturday morning, March 8 after CBP officers came in contact with a white 2001 Volkswagen Beetle. The driver, a 20-year-old male United States citizen from Washington state presented his U.S. passport and was referred to secondary for further inspection. In the process of inspecting the Beetle, officers discovered packages of suspected narcotics hidden within the vehicle and ultimately six packages of alleged cocaine weighing approximately 6.63 kilograms (14.62 lbs.) were removed. CBP-OFO seized the cocaine which carries an estimated street value of $468,000.
The second incident occurred the same morning but at the Anzalduas-Reynosa International Bridge after CBP officers encountered a blue 2007 Honda CRV driven by a 43-year-old male Mexican citizen from San Nicolas, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. After presenting his Mexican border crossing card, the driver and vehicle were referred to secondary for a more thorough inspection. During the secondary examination, officers discovered packages of suspected narcotics concealed within the Honda’s seats. CBP-OFO removed and seized 18 packages of alleged methamphetamine weighing approximately 29.54 kilograms (65.12 lbs.), nine packages of alleged cocaine weighing approximately 10.20 kilograms (22.50 lbs.) and five packages of alleged heroin weighing approximately 4.80 kilograms (10.58 lbs.). The estimated street value for the methamphetamine is $2,084,000; $1,058,000 for the heroin and $720,000 for the cocaine.
The third seizure occurred later, also on Saturday after CBP officers working at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge encountered a 34-year-old male Mexican citizen from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico driving a grey 2011 Chevrolet Cruz. The driver presented his Mexican border crossing card and was referred to secondary for further inspection. In secondary, officers discovered 26 packages of alleged cocaine hidden within the Chevy. CBP-OFO seized the cocaine which weighed approximately 29.5 kilograms (65.04 lbs.) and carries an estimated street value of $2,082,000.
The last incident occurred on Sunday evening, March 9 also at the Anzalduas-Reynosa International Bridge. CBP officers came in contact with a 27-year-old male United States citizen from Pharr, Texas driving a silver 2014 Ford Taurus and after presenting his U.S. passport, was referred to secondary for continued inspection. CBP officers discovered packages of suspected narcotics concealed within the traveler’s luggage and subsequently removed and seized three packages of alleged methamphetamine weighing approximately 569.1 grams (1.25 lbs.). The estimated street value of the methamphetamine is $40,000.
CBP-OFO seized all of the vehicles involved in the failed smuggling attempts and also arrested all four associated travelers who were then released to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents for further investigation.