Border Patrol officers seize cocaine worth more than $387K at Laredo checkpoint

Border Patrol seize cocaine worth more than $387K

LAREDO, Texas — Officers with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized more than $387,000 worth of cocaine during three separate raids this week, authorities said.

One seizure, at the World Trade Bridge in Laredo, Texas, netted packages containing nearly 29 pounds of cocaine, according to a news release.

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“The smuggling of illicit narcotics is a serious international health and security threat,” Eugene Crawford, Laredo Port of Entry director, said in Wednesday’s release. “CBP will continue to intercept these dangerous drugs using every tool at our disposal.”

The first confiscation occurred Sunday at the Juarez-Lincoln Bridge after a CBP officer referred a 2009 Chevrolet for a secondary inspection. The car was driven by an 18-year-old U.S. citizen, the CBP said in its release. After a canine and “non-intrusive imaging system” inspection, officers discovered seven packages containing 16.97 pounds of alleged cocaine. The narcotics’ street value was estimated at $130,900, the CBP said.

The second seizure occurred Monday at the same location. A 25-year-old woman driving a 2009 Nissan was pulled over for a secondary inspection, officials said in the news release.

Agents found two packages containing 4.67 pounds of alleged cocaine inside the vehicle, officials said. The street value of the cocaine was estimated at $36,040.

The third seizure, at the World Trade Bridge, occurred when officers referred a 2009 Kenworth tractor hauling a shipment of glass candles for a secondary inspection, officials said. The vehicle was driven by a 44-year-old man from Mexico.

After an inspection, agents discovered 11 packages containing 28.61 pounds of alleged cocaine, according to the news release. The drugs had an estimated street value of $220,660.

All three interceptions had a combined street value of $387,600.

All three drivers were arrested, and their vehicles were confiscated, CBP said in its release.