EL PASO, Texas (CBSDFW) – U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers working at the Paso Del Norte international crossing in El Paso seized more than 100 pounds of drugs in two separate incidents involving teenage smugglers.
It happened on May 12 and in both cases the drivers of the drug-filled cars were 17-year-old males.
“Drug organizations sometimes use juveniles to smuggle contraband. They will falsely tell these young people that there is no risk because if they get caught nothing will happen,” said CBP El Paso Director of Field Operation Hector Mancha. “I assure there will always be some form of consequence. In this case both were turned over to our Texas Department of Public Safety law enforcement partners for prosecution as adults in the state of Texas.”
The first seizure was made just after 11 a.m. when 2003 Ford Explorer entered the port from Mexico. The CBP officer at the primary inspection booth selected the vehicle for a secondary exam. Officers discovered bundles hidden within the rear seat cushions of the car. They removed a total of seven bundles. The contents of the bundles tested positive for cocaine. The total weight was 18.55 pounds. The driver of the car was a U.S. citizen, and was turned over to Texas DPS for prosecution.
The second seizure was made at 1:30 p.m. when 2005 Honda Element entered the port from Mexico. A CBP officer at the primary inspection booth conducted an exam of the vehicle and located numerous bundles in the spare tire well of the car. CBP officers continued the exam and located more bundles in the engine compartment. CBP officers removed 80 marijuana-filled bundles from the car with a combined weight of 82 pounds. The driver of the car, a U.S. citizen, was turned over to Texas DPS for prosecution.