U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers working at the El Paso port of entry seized 27.2 pounds of cocaine Tuesday. The estimated street value of the seized contraband is $870,400.
“We are using every tool we have to stop smugglers,” said Hector Mancha, CBP El Paso Port Director. “CBP officer expertise, high technology, and canine support all played a role in making this seizure.”
The seizure was made at approximately 4:15 p.m. Tuesday when a 1998 Nissan Altima entered the Bridge of the Americas international crossing from Mexico. A CBP officer at the primary inspection booth selected the vehicle for a secondary exam after detecting a number of issues with the driver and vehicle. CBP drug sniffing dog “Dora” alerted to the gas tank area of the car during a secondary exam. CBP officers scanned the vehicle with the Z-Portal x-ray system and spotted anomalies in the fuel tank. CBP officers removed 22 cocaine-filled bundles from the gas tank.
CBP officers took custody of the driver of the car, 21-year-old Javier Alfonso Perez of El Paso, Texas. He was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement HSI special agents to face federal charges in connection with the failed smuggling attempt. He is currently being detained without bond at the El Paso County Jail.
While anti-terrorism is the primary mission of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the inspection process at the ports of entry associated with this mission results in impressive numbers of enforcement actions in all categories.