A 46-year old United States female citizen was arrested by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at El Paso’s port of entry after she was found attempting to smuggle 50.8 lbs of methamphetamine across the border.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers seized the drugs from the Dallas woman. The estimated street value of the meth is $1,625,600.
“Smugglers spared no expense in their efforts to cross this sizeable drug load,” said Beverly Good, CBP El Paso Port Director, in press release from the department. “CBP’s layered enforcement was instrumental in keeping this shipment from making it to its intended destination.”
According to the release, the seizure was made just before 10 a.m. April 9 when a 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer with a lone driver arrived at the Paso Del Norte international crossing from Mexico. A CBP officer at the primary inspection station selected the vehicle for a secondary exam. Drug-sniffing dog “Tiran” searched the car and alerted to narcotics in the rear of the vehicle. Officers scanned the vehicle with the Z-portal x-ray system and spotted anomalies in the appearance of the rear tires.
Officers removed the tires and found custom-made metal collars bolted to the rims of the wheels. The collars were cut open revealing a dozen methamphetamine-filled bundles.
CBP officers arrested the driver, Matilda Perez. Perez was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement HSI special agents to face charges associated with the failed drug smuggling attempt.
While anti-terrorism is the primary mission of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the inspection process at the ports of entry associated with this mission results in impressive numbers of enforcement actions in all categories, the release said.