Santa Teresa, NM (KTSM) — U.S. Customs and Border Protections officers were able to seize over $1 million dollars worth of cocaine at the Santa Teresa Port of Entry on Thursday during a routine cargo inspection.
CBP Officers were working the cargo facility around 10:48 a.m. Thursday when a Ford F-150 driven by 61-year-old Pedro Vargas Salas of Cuautemoc, Mexico entered the Santa Teresa Port hauling an empty goose neck flatbed trailer. Officer selected Salas to undergo additional gamma-ray examination and identified some anomalies in the appearance of the trailer. The truck was moved to the inspection dock, where CBP officers drilled into one of the trailer axles and removed a white powdery substance.
Once CBP officers were able to dismantle the axles and drive shafts, they located 32.5 pounds of cocaine, which have an estimated street value of $1,040,000.
“Vigilance, service, and integrity are the core values of CBP. Santa Teresa’s CBP officers epitomize our core values and demonstrate the highest standards as they stop dangerous narcotics from entering our country. I commend our officers for their outstanding work in this seizure,” said Ray Provencio, CBP Santa Teresa Port Director.
CBP Officers arrested Salas and turned him over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement HSI agents for processing. CBP and ICE agents say they will continue to investigate the failed smuggling attempt.