Santa Teresa, New Mexico – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Santa Teresa port of entry were very busy this weekend. Officers at the New Mexico border crossing seized 470 pounds of marijuana in four seizures. The estimated street value of the seized contraband is $376,000.
“Traffic at the Santa Teresa port of entry continues to grow and with that comes the threat of increased smuggling activity,” said acting CBP Santa Teresa Port Director Jesse Proctor. “The CBP officers here are vigilant and remain committed to identifying and stopping any threats that may materialize at our port.”
The largest of the four seizures occurred Saturday just before 2 p.m. when a 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck entered the port from Mexico. A CBP officer at the primary inspection station selected the vehicle for a secondary exam. CBP drug sniffing dog “Kyra” searched the truck and alerted to the presence of drugs. CBP officers scanned the vehicle with an x-ray system which revealed areas of concern in the fuel tank and tires. CBP officers continued their exam and located three marijuana-filled metal boxes in the fuel tank. They also discovered marijuana-filled metal collars attached to the rims of all four tires. CBP officers seized 182.5 pounds of marijuana in the busts.
CBP officers arrested the driver of the vehicle. He is identified as 38-year-old Francisco Javier Rodriguez Quintana of Chihuahua City, Mexico. He was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations special agents to face charges associated with the failed smuggling attempt.
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.