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November 10, 09

NEWS / $3.9 Million in Heroin Found in Vehicles Drive Shaft Contributes to Busy Weekend for Brownsville CBP


Brownsville, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers over the weekend at the Brownsville port of entry discovered and seized nearly $4.3 million in heroin, cocaine and marijuana and apprehended a wanted fugitive; three men and one woman were arrested in connection with these enforcement actions.


Brownsville, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers over the weekend at the Brownsville port of entry discovered and seized nearly $4.3 million in heroin, cocaine and marijuana and apprehended a wanted fugitive; three men and one woman were arrested in connection with these enforcement actions.

The heroin from this seizure has an estimated street value of more than $3.9 million. CBP officers arrested Felix Rafael Dallas Ortega and turned him over to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents who investigated the seizure and processed the driver on federal drug charges.


The second seizure occurred on November 6. CBP officers at the Brownsville and Matamoros International Bridge seized 43 pounds of marijuana hidden in the rear walls of a 1998 Pontiac Sunfire driven by Mario Perez Chavez, a 40-year-old Mexican citizen from Matamoros, Tamaulipas.


The marijuana from this seizure has an estimated street value of more than $43,000. The driver was arrested by CBP officers and turned over to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents who investigated the seizure. After thorough review of the case, Mario Perez Chavez was processed by the Cameron County Sheriff’s Office on state drug charges.


The next seizure took place on November 8. CBP officers at Veteran’s International Bridge seized more than 10 pounds of cocaine hidden in the bumper of a Ford Taurus driven by Verulo Trujillo, a 41-year-old Mexican citizen from Brownsville, Texas. The cocaine from this enforcement action has an estimated street value of more than $323,000. Verulo Trujillo was arrested by CBP officers and turned over to the custody of ICE special agents who continue to investigate the seizure and processed the driver on federal drug charges.


The fourth case this weekend involved the arrest of a wanted fugitive. On November 8, CBP officers came in contact with a female pedestrian as she arrived at Gateway International Bridge and presented herself for inspection. CBP primary officers used a CBP database which identified her as a possible match on an outstanding arrest warrant from U.S. Marshals Service for a parole violation.


Argentina Joanne Martinez, a 24-year-old U.S. citizen from Harlingen, Texas was referred to secondary for further inspection and verification of the outstanding warrant. In secondary, checks of a CBP database identified Argentina Joanne Martinez as the subject of active arrest warrants from the McAllen, Texas U.S. Marshals Service Office. Martinez had a warrant for probation violation related to a case involving alien smuggling. CBP officers arrested Argentina Joanne Martinez and subsequently turned her over to the custody of the Willacy County Sheriff’s Office. Argentina Joanne Martinez was transported to the County Jail where she remains incarcerated pending extradition to McAllen, Texas to face pending charges.


“This weekend Brownsville CBP officers seized nearly $4.3 million in dangerous narcotics and apprehended a wanted fugitive. These significant seizures prevented these illicit drugs from entering the lower Rio Grande Valley, thus keeping them from our communities and protecting the security of our nation,” said Michael Freeman, CBP port director, Brownsville. “CBP officers’ effective use of their tools, training and a CBP database yielded excellent results.”

http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/newsroom/news_releases/11092009_5.xml

 




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