POSTED: Friday, February 17, 2012 - 12:04pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 5:40pm
EL PASO – Five drug busts in a 48-hour span were made by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at the El Paso port of entry.
This included two cases involving women who were traveling with children.
“Unfortunately this is something that is happening more and more in the drug smuggling community,” said Hector Mancha, CBP El Paso Port Director. “Smugglers may believe that family units will not attract the scrutiny of CBP. History has shown us that smugglers come in all age groups, sexes, nationalities and even at times as families traveling together.”
CBP officers working at the Ysleta international crossing seized 23.8 pounds of cocaine shortly before 2:00 p.m. Wednesday when drug sniffing dog “Sany” alerted to a 2005 Chevrolet Malibu. The vehicle was being driven by a 28-year-old woman who was traveling with three daughters aged nine, seven and 10 months.
Upon inspection, CBP officers located a false compartment in the rear wheel well area of the car and removed 11 cocaine-filled bundles from the compartment.
Maria Elena Estrada Garcia, 28, of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement HSI special agents to face federal charges in connection with the failed smuggling attempt. She is currently detained at the El Paso County jail and being held without bond.
CBP officers working at the Bridge of the Americas international crossing seized 29 pounds of marijuana shortly after 4:00 p.m. Wednesday. A CBP officer noted an anomaly in the spare tire of a 1985 Chevrolet Blazer that was being driven by a 22-year-old woman who was traveling with her two-year-old son.
Drug sniffing dog “Jive’ alerted to the spare tire, where CBP officers discovered 28 marijuana-filled bundles.
Angelica Hernandez Sanchez, 22, of Tornillo, Texas was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement HSI special agents to face federal smuggling charges.
In the last 48 hours CBP officers working at area ports made three additional marijuana seizures totaling 156 pounds.