Criminal Justice News

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

CBP Officers At El Paso Port Of Entry Make Cocaine Bust

El Paso, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at El Paso area ports of entry recorded a wide variety of enforcement actions during the weekend. CBP officers made numerous fugitive apprehensions, stopped drug smuggling attempts, uncovered immigrations violations, and located prohibited agriculture items while inspecting inbound and outbound traffic at area border crossings.

CBP officers working at the port of El Paso seized 29.70 pounds of cocaine with an approximate value of $950,400 and 183.43 pounds of marijuana with an approximate value of $146,744. The cocaine seizure was made on Sunday morning at the Ysleta international crossing at the El Paso port of entry. CBP officers discovered 29 cocaine-filled bundles in the floor of the cab of a 2011 Dodge Ram 2500 that entered the port from Mexico.

CBP officers arrested 40-year-old Roberto Gonzalez Estrada of Chihuahua, Mexico. He was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations special agents to face federal drug smuggling charges and booked into the El Paso County Jail where he is being held without bond.

“Our officers seized these narcotics amidst heavy weekend traffic. Our officers remain alert each day as they protect our homeland,” said Hector Mancha, CBP El Paso Port Director. “I am proud of our officers’ work ethic and their vigilance in this enforcement action.”

CBP officers also recorded 37 immigration violations at area ports this weekend including 24 intended immigrants, nine impostors and two alien smugglers. Intended immigrants will use a legally issued border-crossing card (laser visa) to live or work in the U.S., which is not authorized. Violators generally lose their documents, can be prosecuted and go to jail and/or are returned to Mexico. Impostors generally will use a legitimate entry document assigned to another person and present it as their own. Impostors and alien smugglers are prosecuted and go to jail. CBP officers also recorded two cases of people making false claims to U.S. citizenship, people attempting to enter with counterfeit or altered documents, and stopping those who previously entered the country illegally. Most of these people will be prosecuted and go to jail.

CBP officers working at area ports made a total of five fugitive apprehensions during the three day period.

CBP agriculture specialists working at area ports made three seizures of prohibited food and agricultural items this weekend, resulting in $775 in fines being assessed. Prohibited items seized this weekend included pork bologna, peaches, oranges, apples, orange blossom and leaves.

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.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

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