South Texas U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized $11 million worth of methamphetamine during two stops on the Texas-Mexico border.
The first stop took place on Pharr International Bridge in Pharr, Texas.
CBP stopped a tractor-trailer arriving from Mexico, referring it for further inspection. It was supposed to be transporting fresh jalapeno peppers.
A deeper inspection by “non-intrusive inspection equipment” and screening by dogs found “9,426 packages, which filled 72 buckets for a total weight of 1,205.48 pounds (546.80 kg), of alleged methamphetamine concealed within the shipment.”
The methamphetamine seized is worth $10.7 million.
Officers immediately seized the illegal narcotics and the vehicle, and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) initiated a criminal investigation.
“Our CBP officers continue to stop massive amounts of narcotics at our cargo facility, all while facilitating lawful trade entering the country,” said Port Director Carlos Rodriguez, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry.
On the same day, CBP in Brownsville conducted an inspection of a vehicle at Gateway International Bridge and discovered more illegal methamphetamine.
A 19-year-old U.S. citizen was driving a 2019 Dodge, which was stopped and referred for inspection. Once again, the inspection was non-intrusive and was followed by a canine screening.
During the inspection, officers were alerted to three packages hidden within the vehicle.
CBP officers removed the packages, which contained a total of 100.81 pounds of alleged methamphetamine, valued at approximately $927,038.
“This significant seizure is a testament to our officers’ commitment to keep our borders secure and keeping these narcotics off our streets,” said Brownsville Port of Entry Director Tater Ortiz.
The Texas Legislature is currently in the third special session of the 88th Legislative Session, where one of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s priorities is border security.
Senate Bill 4 by State Sen. Pete Flores (R–Pleasanton), will increase penalties for human smuggling and operating a stash house, passed the Senate with 29 votes in favor. Democrat State Sens. Sarah Eckhardt (Austin) and Roland Gutierrez (San Antonio) voted no.
The measure passed out of the House State Affairs committee on Thursday and awaits placement on the House calendar.
Senate Bill 11 by State Sen. Brian Birdwell (R–Granbury), which creates a criminal penalty for improper entry from a foreign nation, passed out of the Senate with a vote of 19-12. All Democrat members voted against the measure.
That legislation has yet to receive a vote in the House State Affairs committee.