US CBP officers in El Paso area seize over $2.5 million worth of narcotics and arrest 17 fugitives

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at El Paso area ports of entry seized more than 60 pounds of cocaine, 12 pounds of fentanyl, seven pounds of methamphetamine, 650 pounds of marijuana and arrested 17 fugitives during the last week.

“Our CBP Officers are committed to securing our borders and keeping our communities safe by stopping these dangerous drugs from coming into our county,” said U.S. Customs and Border Protection El Paso Director of Field Operation Hector Mancha. “We also work closely with federal, state, and local law enforcement to apprehend fugitives from justice.”

On August 13, CBP officers assigned to the Paso Del Norte border crossing, selected a vehicle driven by a 22-year-old U.S. citizen for further inspection. During a secondary inspection CBP officers discovered 37 pounds of cocaine and 12.5 pounds of fentanyl hidden in the vehicle.  

On August 17, while conducting inspections at the Union Pacific railroad yard, CBP officers detected anomalies in one of the rail cars. A drug sniffing dog conducted a search of the rail car leading CBP officers to the discovery of 650 pounds of marijuana hidden in the center beams of the rail car. 

At the Ysleta border crossing on August 18, CBP officers apprehended a fugitive from justice wanted for probation violation related to an original charge of murder. The 41-year-old, lawful permanent resident of the United States, was wanted out of the Lewis County Sherriff’s Office in Chehalis, Washington. 

On August 19, CBP officers assigned to the Santa Teresa port of entry, encountered a vehicle driven by an 18-year-old U.S. citizen. A search of the vehicle by CBP officers resulted in the discovery of 23 pounds of cocaine and seven pounds of methamphetamine concealed within.

During the week CBP officers arrested an additional 16 fugitives from justice. The arrests made were for crimes such as dangerous drugs, possession, alien smuggling, failure to appear, and robbery. 

All subjects were arrested by CBP officers and turned over to local and federal authorities to face charges. 

In addition to the narcotic seizures and arrests, Agriculture Specialist issued over $3,400 in civil penalties. The penalties were a result of the failure to declare agriculture products such as apples, peaches, fresh coconuts, dragon fruit, fresh peppers, mangos, mandarin fruit, guavas, quince, and pork meat. Inside some of the fresh quince and mangos, Agriculture Specialists discovered suspected Anastrepha species fruit fly. If spread, this type of larvae poses a serious threat to the agriculture industry.