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September 24, 09

NEWS / CBP Officers in Laredo Seize Heroin Hidden in Religious Decorative Wood Shelf

Laredo, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Laredo, Texas port of entry Monday seized heroin and marijuana valued at $459,000 in two separate interceptions at the International Bridges.

The more unusually concealed seizure occurred Sept. 21 at the Gateway to the Americas International Bridge. CBP officers referred a 1997 Chevrolet Suburban for a secondary examination. During the secondary inspection, CBP Canine “Donna” alerted to the odor of narcotics emanating from a decorative religious wood shelf. An x-ray scan indicated anomalies within the wood shelf. CBP officers drilled into the wood shelf revealing a white powdery substance.

CBP officers pried the wooden shelf open and discovered four packages containing nearly three pounds of heroin. The heroin has an estimated street value of $250,000. CBP officers arrested a female in connection with this seizure and turned her over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents who investigated the seizure and processed her on federal drug charges. CBP officers seized the heroin and the Suburban.

The other seizure occurred at the Lincoln-Juarez International Bridge on the same date and resulted in the recovery of a load of marijuana. CBP officers referred a 1996 Chevrolet Tahoe for secondary examination. CBP officers noted discrepancies in the gas tank area of the vehicle. CBP Canine “Misco” alerted to the odor of narcotics emanating from the rear of the vehicle. A non-intrusive imaging system scan of the vehicle revealed anomalies in the same area.

CBP officers utilized a fiber optic scope that also showed anomalies within the fuel tank. Officers conducted a more extensive intensive examination of the fuel tank and discovered 159 pounds of marijuana. The marijuana has an estimated street value of $159,000. CBP officers arrested a male subject and turned him over to ICE special agents who investigated the seizures and took custody of him pending an appearance before a federal magistrate on federal drug charges. CBP officers seized the marijuana and the SUV.

“Our CBP officers are committed to the CBP mission of keeping our borders safe and their hard work and perseverance is apparent every time they intercept significant seizures like these,” said Gene Garza, CBP Port Director, Laredo.




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