CBP seizes cocaine, heroin at Paso Del Norte bridge

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 12:59pm

EL PASO — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Paso Del Norte international crossing at the El Paso port of entry seized 28.16 pounds of cocaine and 10.34 pounds of heroin in two separate seizures this weekend, officials said.

“These interdictions remove a sizeable amount of cocaine and heroin from the streets of our communities and the reach of our youth,” said CBP El Paso Assistant Port Director Norman Bebon. “These noteworthy seizures highlight CBP’s determination to serve this nation in protecting our homeland.”

The cocaine seizure was made shortly after 11:00 p.m. Friday night after a 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier entered the port from Mexico. A CBP officer working the primary inspection station selected the vehicle for a secondary exam. CBP officers initiated a search during which a CBP drug sniffing dog alerted to the gas tank of the vehicle. CBP officers scanned the vehicle with an x-ray system and spotted several anomalies within the vehicle including the dashboard and gas tank. A total of 11 bundles were discovered.

CBP officers took custody of the driver, 20-year-old Maria Calderon Garcia of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. She was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) HSI agents to face federal drug smuggling charges.

The heroin seizure was made shortly after 8:00 p.m. Sunday night after a 2013 Toyota Camry entered the port from Mexico. A CBP officer working the primary inspection station selected the vehicle for a secondary exam. CBP officers initiated a search during which a CBP drug sniffing dog “Johan” alerted to a suit case in the trunk of the vehicle. CBP officers removed six bundles concealed within the lining of a suit case and backpack.

CBP officers took custody of the driver, 36-year-old Clinton Stout of Langhorn, Pennsylvania. He was arrested by ICE HSI agents to face federal drug smuggling charges.

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