400 lbs of marijuana found concealed within furniture.Posted on February 25, 2008
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers conducting anti-terror inspections at the El Paso port of entry intercepted 457 pounds of marijuana in two separate seizures. The significance of the seizures was the concealment method used to smuggle the narcotics. The marijuana was concealed in non-commercial shipments of furniture.
The largest one of the two seizures was made at the Ysleta border crossing at about 8 p.m. A brown GMC Sierra pickup arrived at the primary inspection station and the driver declared furniture to CBP. The primary officer inspected the furniture and noted a discrepancy. The officer probed the underside of one of the sofas and discovered a green leafy substance plus an odor that is consistent with marijuana. The driver was handcuffed by CBP officers and escorted to a CBP holding cell. Twelve large bale size bundles of marijuana with a combined weight of 386 pound were extracted from the furniture.
"More and more we are seeing drugs hidden inside of furniture as a way to smuggle narcotics", said Gene Garza, CBP acting Director of Field Operations in El Paso. "To the untrained eye, this was just another traveler crossing the port of entry with a relative's furniture; however to the well trained CBP officer, it was a smuggling attempt."
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents arrested the driver of the vehicle on importation of a controlled substance. She is identified as 39-year-old Guadalupe Terrazas De Yong, a Mexican citizen residing in Cuidad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico.
In addition to this seizure, CBP officers also discovered 71 pounds of marijuana hidden in a dresser being transported across our border through Bridge of the Americas. A 24-year-old male from Juarez, Mexico was arrested by ICE agents.
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.
Source: US Customs/Border Patrol