Border agents seize $343,000 in drugs over the weekend

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SAN LUIS - The following is a press release fromt he U.S. Customs and Border Protection:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers (CBP) did not allow the drug smugglers to thwart their processing of the honest travelers while apprehending a total of seven people for attempting to smuggle 409 pounds of marijuana.The CBP officers remained on their toes during a 30 minute shotgun attempt of three drug loads by smugglers.

"The officers work very hard and sometimes very long hours, but this does not keep them from staying committed to one of our missions of stopping drugs from entering our country," said Port Director William K. Brooks.

The first seizure occurred on Saturday February 28th, just after 3:30 p.m., when a 31-year old Mexican man driving a 2000 Dodge Durango applied for entry into the U.S.A CBP officer processing travelers coming from Mexico noticed discrepancies on the vehicle and the driver's demeanor and referred him to the vehicle secondary lot for further inspection.

In secondary the CBP officers inspected the vehicles gas tank with a fiber optic scope and also requested the assistance of a drug sniffing dog.The inspection resulted in the discovery of 40 packages of marijuana within the gas tank with a total weight of 46 pounds.

The man was immediately arrested and turned over to Immigration and Customs enforcement for further investigation and processing but presented to the state for prosecution.The vehicle, marijuana, and other miscellaneous items were seized.

The marijuana has an estimated street value of $73,040.00

The second seizure occurred just minutes later when a United States citizen woman applied for entry into the U.S.driving a 1991 Mazda MPV.A CBP officer pre-screening travelers coming from Mexico referred the vehicle to secondary for further inspection due to discrepancies found on the vehicle.

In the secondary lot the CBP officers noticed a discrepancy of the vehicles roof and escorted the woman into the office.During the thorough inspection by the CBP officers a total of 31 packages of marijuana were found hidden within the roof with a weight of 91 pounds.

The woman was immediately arrested and turned over to Immigration and Customs enforcement for further investigation but presented to the state for prosecution.The vehicle and marijuana were both seized.

The marijuana has an estimated street value of $145, 200.00

The third seizure occurred also minutes later when a 27-year old United States man applied for entry into the U.S. driving a 2001 Dodge Intrepid.A CBP officer processing travelers coming from Mexico noticed the driver's demeanor and referred him to vehicle secondary for further inspection.

In the secondary lot the CBP officers requested the assistance of a drug sniffing dog which alerted to the floor area where a total of 38 packages of marijuana were found with a weight of 78 pounds.

The man was immediately arrested and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further investigation but presented to the state for prosecution.The vehicle and marijuana were both seized.

The marijuana has an estimated street value of $125, 136.00

On March 1st another seizure occurred when two United States citizen women applied for entry in a 1992 Honda Accord.A CBP officer processing travelers coming from Mexico noticed the driver and passenger's demeanor and referred them to vehicle secondary for further inspection.

In the secondary lot the CBP officers requested the assistance of a drug sniffing dog which alerted throughout the vehicle where a total of 32 packages of marijuana were found with a weight of 59 pounds.

The women were immediately arrested and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further investigation but presented to the state for prosecution.The vehicle and marijuana were both seized.

The marijuana has an estimated street value of $94,512.00.

On the same date, just a few hours later another seizure occurred when a 26-year old Mexican man applied for entry driving a 1988 GMC C1500.A CBP officer processing travelers coming from Mexico referred the man to the vehicle secondary lot for further inspection.

In the secondary lot the CBP officers utilized both a fiber optic scope and requested the assistance of a drug sniffing dog which alerted to the gas tank where a total of 32 packages of marijuana were extracted with a weight of 87 pounds.

The man was immediately arrested and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further investigation and processing but presented to the state for prosecution.The vehicle and marijuana were both seized.

The marijuana has an estimated street value of $139,568.00

On March 2, just after 3:00 p.m. a 19-year old United States citizen accompanied by some passengers applied for entry driving a 1998 Honda Civic.A CBP officer screening travelers coming from Mexico referred the man and his passengers to the vehicle secondary lot for further inspection.

In the secondary lot the CBP officers requested the assistance of a drug sniffing dog which alerted to the rear area of the vehicle where a total of 20 packages of marijuana were found in the quarter panels with a weight of more than 48 pounds.

The man was immediately arrested and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further investigation but presented to the state for prosecution.The vehicle and marijuana were both seized.

The marijuana has an estimated street value of $77,088.00

A criminal complaint is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt.An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Field Operations is responsible for securing our borders at the ports of entry.U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers' primary mission is anti-terrorism; they screen all people, vehicles, and goods entering the United States, while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel into and out of the United States.Their mission also includes carrying out traditional border-related responsibilities, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration law, protecting the nation's food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases, and enforcing trade laws.

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.