El Paso, TX (KTSM) — A 21-year-old El Paso man was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents Monday after CBP Officers discovered 17.7 pounds of heroin at an estimated street value of $566,400 in his car.
“A substantial amount of heroin did not make it to its intended destination,” said Hector Mancha, CBP El Paso Port Director. “While homeland security is our primary mission, keeping dangerous drugs off the streets of our communities makes for a safer nation as well.”
The seizure was made at approximately 5 a.m. Monday at the Paso Del Norte international crossing after a 1996 Audi A4 Quattro driven by 21-year-old Herbert Garza, entered the port from Mexico. A CBP officer noticed that the driver was nervous during the initial interview. CBP drug sniffing dog “Chip” alerted to the vehicle while it was at the primary inspection booth.
CBP officers scanned the vehicle with the Z-Portal x-ray system and spotted a suspicious area in the front floor area of the car. CBP officers eventually discovered 10 tape-wrapped bundles hidden in a floor compartment. The brown tar-like contents of the bundles tested positive for heroin.
Garza was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations special agents to face charges associated with the failed smuggling attempt.