Criminal Justice News

Monday, April 23, 2012

Customs and Border Protection at the Pharr International Bridge Seizes Near Half a Million Dollars in Cocaine, Reynosa Woman Arrested

Hidalgo, Texas— U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the Pharr International Bridge seized approximately 14.5 pounds of cocaine with a Reynosa woman arrested in the alleged smuggling attempt. The estimated street value of the cocaine is approximately $464,000. CBP also arrested two male imposters in unrelated incidents.

On April 19, 2012 CBP officers working at the Pharr/Reynosa International Bridge came in contact with a 2002 brown Ford Escape driven by a 48-year-old female Mexican national from Reynosa, Tamaulipas. The driver and lone occupant presented her border crossing card to the primary officer and was referred to secondary for further inspection. In secondary officers discovered and seized nine packages weighing approximately 6.58 kilograms (14.50 pounds) of alleged cocaine that was hidden within the vehicle’s firewall (dash) area. CBP seized the vehicle.

The adult female traveler was released to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) for further investigation.

In two separate unrelated incidents at the Hidalgo Port of Entry CBP officers came in contact with two males attempting to enter the United States through the pedestrian lanes. One male traveler attempted to present himself as a legal permanent resident who had allegedly lost his resident card and the other presented a state of Minnesota birth certificate belonging to someone else. The two travelers were referred to secondary for further document review and it was there that officers discovered that the alleged legal resident was in fact a 58-year-old citizen of Honduras and the alleged U.S. citizen was a 20-year-old Mexican national. Neither male traveler had legal documents to enter or reside in the United States.

The two male imposters were incarcerated pending appearance before a U.S. Federal Magistrate on criminal charges for violations of U.S. immigration law.

“This is two consecutive days that our officers have detected hard narcotics and undocumented people attempting to enter the U.S. illegally. Violators need to realize that CBP will arrest those attempting illicit activities and the U.S. Attorney’s Office works closely with us to seek the maximum punishment allowed by law to those found to be involved in these crimes” said Efrain Solis Jr., Port Director, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas.

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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