PHARR, TX — Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Office of Field Operations at the Pharr and Hidalgo International Bridges seized $1,967,000 worth of cocaine and $357,777 in unreported U.S. currency in two separate, unrelated incidents.
“These two interceptions which occurred almost simultaneously at two of our international bridges clearly demonstrate CBP’s ability to check travelers either entering the U.S. or attempting to exit into Mexico,” said Efrain Solis Jr., Port Director, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas.
“The detection and seizure of these hard narcotics and unreported currency will definitely impact those involved in these illicit smuggling activities.”
Both seizures occurred on Monday afternoon, Dec. 16, 2013 with the first occurring at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge after CBP officers working outbound operations encountered a gold 2005 Nissan Murano driven by a 55-year-old male Mexican citizen. Before the vehicle crossed the border into Mexico, Officers stopped it and referred it to secondary for a more thorough examination. During the course of the inspection, officers discovered bundles hidden within the Murano and a total of 41 packages were removed which contained U.S. currency, totaling $357,777. CBP-OFO seized the unreported U.S. currency and the vehicle as well.
The second incident occurred at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge after a grey 2004 Nissan Platina driven by a 35-year-old male Mexican citizen from Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico arrived. The driver presented his Mexican border-crossing card and a CBP Officer referred him to secondary for further inspection. While inspecting the vehicle in secondary, officers discovered packages of suspected narcotics concealed within the Nissan and subsequently 25 packages weighing approximately 27.88 kilograms (61.46 lbs.) were removed. CBP-OFO seized the narcotics along with Nissan
CBP-OFO arrested both individuals and were then released to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents for further investigation.