Officers Make Large Cocaine Seizure at Santa Teresa, New Mexico

Published 03/24 2014 11:25AM

Updated 03/24 2014 11:32AM

SANTA TERESA, NM (Permian Basin 360) -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operation officers working at the Santa Teresa port of entry seized 28.6 pounds of cocaine Thursday. The estimated street value of the seized contraband is $915,200.

“This was a deeply concealed drug load,” said Ray Provencio, CBP Santa Teresa Port Director. “Smuggling groups will often try to conceal smaller yet highly valuable drug loads in hard to locate hidden compartments.”

The seizure occurred at approximately 4:30 p.m. when a 2002 Dodge pickup truck arrived from Mexico. A CBP officer at the primary inspection booth interviewed the driver and then selected the vehicle for a secondary exam. CBP drug sniffing dog “Kyra” searched the vehicle and alerted to the firewall area. The front firewall area was drilled producing a white powdery substance which tested positive for cocaine. CBP officers removed a total of 12 cocaine-filled bundles from the hidden compartment in the firewall area of the truck.

CBP officers arrested the driver of the truck, 40-year-old Juan Francisco Aguilar Perez of Chihuahua City, Mexico. He was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations special agents to face charges associated with the failed 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.

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