U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Bridge of the Americas cargo facility intercepted 146 pounds of cocaine. The drugs were concealed in a large commercial ice cream maker that was being transported from Mexico to the U.S.
“The vast majority of commercial shipments CBP officers process pose little risk however seizures like this remind us all that drugs can be concealed almost anywhere and that we must remain constantly vigilant,” said acting CBP El Paso Port Director Luis Mejia.
The interception occurred June 19 when a 1995 Ford F-150 pick-up truck hauling a manifested ice cream machine entered the port. CBP officers working at the primary inspection booth selected the vehicle for further inspection. An X-ray scan of the vehicle and commodity revealed anomalies. A CBP canine searched the vehicle and alerted to the equipment in the bed of the pick-up. CBP officers continued their exam and located 56 bundles of cocaine hidden within the walls of the ice cream maker.
The narcotics and vehicle were seized by CBP. The driver, a 43-year-old Mexican man, was turned over to Texas DPS officers to face state charges connected to the failed smuggling attempt.