South Texas Customs and Border Protection officers have seized several packages of cocaine, methamphetamines, and marijuana in Brownsville, Eagle Pass, and El Paso. Altogether, the illegal drugs’ street value is more than $1.5 million.

On the first day of the federal fiscal year 2024, October 1, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers encountered a vehicle entering Texas from Mexico through Eagle Pass International Bridge II.

The officers stopped the vehicle and conducted a canine inspection and a non-intrusive exam. Upon completion, 19 packages of cocaine were discovered hidden in the center console of the vehicle.

The total weight of the packages came out to 41 pounds, with an estimated street value of $547,510.

Officers immediately seized the vehicle and narcotics. The driver, a 28-year-old male U.S. citizen, was arrested by Homeland Security and a criminal investigation has been launched.

The previous day, CBP officers had intercepted the illegal transport of 411 pounds of methamphetamine and marijuana at the Bridge of the Americas international border crossing in El Paso.

The drugs were seized between two separate failed smuggling attempts, just hours apart.

“CBP officers remain vigilant in their work identifying and stopping drug shipments at our ports of entry,” said acting CBP El Paso Port Director Luis Mejia. “Two very large drug shipments did not make their intended destinations.”

The first interception was done when CBP officers encountered a 42-year-old male Mexican citizen traveling with his spouse and children from Mexico into the U.S. Their pickup truck was selected for a secondary inspection, which included a canine inspection and a non-intrusive exam.

More than 300 pounds of methamphetamines were revealed to be hidden in the truck’s bed liner. After the drugs were discovered, the case was handed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation El Paso Field Office’s Violent Crime and Gang Task Force for further investigation.

Hours later, a 24-year-old male Mexican citizen was stopped in his vehicle upon entrance into Texas via vehicle lanes.

During the initial inspection, CBP officers discovered several plastic bags in the vehicle’s trunk. This prompted a secondary inspection: a canine and a non-intrusive exam.

It was then determined that the plastic bags contained illegal drugs: 100.8 pounds of marijuana.

The case was turned over to the Department of Public Safety for further investigation.

Just days before this seizure occurred, another vehicle was stopped by CBP agents. During this failed smuggling attempt, officers intercepted $906,628 in cocaine at the B&M International Bridge in Brownsville.

CBP officers stopped a Chevrolet SUV being driven by a 31-year-old female U.S. citizen on its way into Texas. Following a search, 29 packages containing nearly 68 pounds of cocaine were located within the vehicle.

The cocaine and SUV were seized by CBP, and HSI arrested the driver and launched a criminal investigation.

“Our frontline officers continue to maintain tight focus on our border security mission and that dedication and drive led to this significant cocaine interception,” said Port Director Tater Ortiz, Brownsville Port of Entry. “We remain committed to keeping our communities safe from hard narcotics while facilitating lawful trade and travel.”

“Our country is being flooded with drugs manufactured in China or in Mexico with Chinese precursors and being trafficked by narcoterrorist cartels,” Chris Russo, president of Texans for Strong Borders, told Texas Scorecard. “If these amounts of drugs are being seized where we have deployed technology to detect them, imagine how many drugs are being transported between ports of entry where our detection capability has been completely dismantled by the Biden administration.”

“One American killed by drugs is too many, and solving the societal conditions that have led to our drug abuse epidemic will take decades,” Russo continued. “In the meantime, we must secure our border to limit the drug supply to our citizens and starve the cartels of their cash flow.”

Soli Rice

A journalist for Texas Scorecard, Soli is a new Texan with a passion for politics. She's excited to hone her writing skills and help spread truth to Texans.