EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — Three U.S. citizens face federal charges after allegedly trying to drive vehicles packed with meth across the border or past highway checkpoints in the El Paso Sector in the past 10 days.
The largest seizure took place shortly before midnight on Aug. 2 at El Paso’s Ysleta port of entry. A Customs and Border Protection officer decided to send a 33-year-old American to the secondary inspection area, where a canine officer alerted other agents to the presence of drugs in the man’s 2018 Toyota Tacoma truck.
CBP officers put the vehicle through an X-ray port and found anomalies in the tires. They took them apart and turned up 153.22 pounds of methamphetamine, according to CBP. The unnamed driver now faces smuggling charges.
So does a woman who a day earlier tried to enter the United States at the same border crossing with her three children inside a 2010 Chrysler Town & Country vehicle.
Officers passed the 31-year-old woman’s car through the X-ray machine and saw anomalies in the seats. According to CBP, the vehicle concealed nearly 30 pounds of meth. The officers arrested the mother in connection with the alleged failed smuggling attempt. There was no word on what happened to her children.
In nearby Southern New Mexico, U.S. Border Patrol agents selected a gray Jeep Patriot for in-depth inspection on Aug. 6. A drug-sniffing dog quickly alerted agents to the presence of drugs and they were able to pull eight bundles of meth totaling 17 pounds from various parts of the vehicle, the agency said.
The 28-year-old American driving the Jeep was arrested and turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation.
And in Santa Teresa, New Mexico, Border Patrol agents on Aug. 5 caught a Mexican man crossing the border illegally and drove him to their station. A records check revealed that the 42-year-old man had an active warrant in Dallas for skipping probation on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, the agency said.
The man was booked into the Hidalgo County, New Mexico, jail to await extradition to Texas.
“Our region is a rich environment that can be exploited by criminals,” Border Patrol El Paso Sector Chief Gloria Chavez said. “These types of narcotic seizures and arrests demonstrate the value of our border security mission every day.”