HIDALGO, TX —U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Hidalgo and Pharr International Bridges arrested three people in connection with two failed drug smuggling attempts of alleged cocaine with a combined street value of $880,500.
“Excellent teamwork exhibited by our frontline officers contributed to these two seizures of hard narcotics,” said Port Director Carlos Rodriguez, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry. “Our frontline officers’ ability to detect inconsistencies and anomalies with travelers and vehicles is how every smuggling interception is initiated and ultimately how drugs are kept from being introduced into our communities.”
The first seizure occurred on Oct. 27, 2020 at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge after a CBP officer referred a 26-year-old man and a 36-year-old woman, both U.S. citizens from Edinburg, Texas driving a Dodge Caliber for further inspection. A non-intrusive imaging (NII) exam allowed the officers to discover 12 packages of alleged cocaine weighing 36.24 pounds (16.44 kg) concealed within the vehicle’s gas tank. These narcotics are valued at $279,500.
Later that day, at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge, a CBP officer encountered a 34-year-old woman, a U.S. citizen from Mission, Texas driving a 2013 Dodge Avenger arriving from Mexico and referred her for a secondary inspection. Officers conducing the secondary examination located 30 packages of alleged cocaine weighing 78 pounds (35.34 kg) hidden within the car. This interception of cocaine is valued at $601,000.
CBP OFO seized all the narcotics, both vehicles and arrested the three persons involved in the failed smuggling attempts. Agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) took them into custody while they continue with the investigations.