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EL PASO, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at El Paso area ports of entry seized cocaine and methamphetamine with an estimated street value of over $210,000 and arrested 17 fugitives over the last week.

Cocaine load.
Cocaine load.

“The work performed by our CBP officers continues to enhance the safety of our community and our country,” said CBP El Paso Director Field Operations Hector A. Mancha. “Our priority mission is homeland security however the inspections we perform uncover a wide variety of violations on a daily basis.”

On April 22, CBP officers working in El Paso intercepted narcotics in two separate unrelated incidents.

The first seizure occurred at the Paso Del Norte border crossing. Shortly after midnight CBP officers intercepted a vehicle driven by a 31-year-old male Mexican citizen. A secondary and non-intrusive inspection (x-ray scan) of the vehicle led CBP officers to the discovery of four bundles hidden in the seats. The hidden bundles contained 9.87 pounds of cocaine.

Methamphetamine load.
Methamphetamine load.

The second seizure occurred at the Bridge of the Americas border crossing. CBP officers conducting post primary inspections intercepted a 19-year-old female U.S. citizen arriving from Mexico. Following a CBP canine alert and non-intrusive inspection of the vehicle, CBP officers discovered 38 bundles with a weight of 47.34 pounds of methamphetamine concealed within the doors.

The narcotics and vehicles were seized by CBP, and the drivers were turned over to Homeland Security Investigations for prosecution.

Additionally, CBP officers arrested 17 fugitives from justice this week. The arrests made were for crimes such as indecency with a child, stalking, aggravated assault, stolen vehicle, indecent exposure, dangerous drugs, and alien smuggling. All arrested made were turned over to local authorities.

In addition to the narcotic seizures and arrests, CBP agriculture specialists issued $3,500 in civil penalties. The penalties were a result of the failure to declare a variety of prohibited agriculture items to include pork products, avocados, plants, and fresh peppers.

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