Rico, Cesar Canines Sniff Out 1,180 Pot Bundles
EL PASO — A total of 1,180 pounds valued at about $944,000 were found hidden inside a flatbed trailer at an El Paso port of entry.
“These were both sizeable drug shipments with considerable effort being put into the concealment,” said Hector Mancha, CBP El Paso Port Director. “CBP employed various enforcement tools at our disposal to identify and stop these drug loads.”
On Wednesday, a 1999 Freightliner towing a flatbed trailer loaded with used tractors entered the Bridge of the Americas cargo compound. A CBP officer at the primary inspection booth selected the shipment for a thorough exam and directed the driver to an x-ray unit. CBP officers were performing a sweep of vehicles waiting in the x-ray line when CBP canine “Rico” alerted to the conveyance. CBP officers seized 12 bundles of marijuana weighing 680 pounds. No arrests were made and the investigation continues.
The second large seizure was made Thursday when a Chevy pickup entered the Ysleta port of entry. CBP officers and Border Patrol agents were performing a sweep of vehicles in line when CBP drug sniffing dog “Cesar” alerted to the truck. CBP officers and Border Patrol agents removed a total of 232 bundles from a non-factory compartment. The drugs weighed 500 pounds.
CBP officers took custody of the driver, 44-year-old Jose Refugio Mendez of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico and booked into the El Paso County Jail where he is currently detained without bond on federal smuggling charges.