Santa Teresa, NM (KTSM) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers working at the Santa Teresa port of entry seized 321 pounds of marijuana Wednesday. The estimated street value of the seized contraband is $257,000.
“Tenacity, tools and technology led to this seizure,” said Joanne Thale-Lembo, CBP Santa Teresa Port Director. “This is a sizeable drug load that did not make it to its intended destination.”
Officials say the seizure was made just before noon when a Dodge Ram 1500 pick-up truck entered the facility from Mexico. CBP officers initiated an examination of the vehicle and received high readings consistent with hidden contraband when scanning the truck with a “Buster” density meter. CBP drug sniffing dog “Dolar” searched the truck and alerted to the bed. CBP officers then scanned the truck with an x-ray system. CBP officers removed 195-marijuana-filled bundles from the bed and floor of the truck.
CBP officers arrested the driver of the truck, 66-year-old Jose Arturo Mariscal Elizalde of Nuevo Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, Mexico. He was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations agents and arrested in connection with the failed smuggling attempt.