Cartels Lose $1.5M Worth Of Seized Drugs In Just One Week

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers stationed at the El Paso area ports of entry have intercepted a substantial quantity of illegal narcotics, preventing them from entering the United States’ illicit drug market. Over the course of one week leading up to the Cinco de Mayo holiday, CBP officers seized 11.2 pounds of fentanyl and 113 pounds of cocaine, valued at an estimated $1.5 million on the streets.

Hector Mancha, CBP’s Director of Field Operations for El Paso, emphasized the significance of these seizures in safeguarding communities, stating, “The drugs seized by our CBP workforce will not cause harm in the communities we share.” He further highlighted CBP’s ongoing efforts to utilize various tools to identify and intercept individuals attempting to bypass inspection processes.

On April 30, CBP officers at the Bridge of Americas Port of Entry discovered 42.5 pounds of cocaine concealed in a 2013 Hyundai Elantra driven by a 48-year-old U.S. citizen. Suspicious anomalies in the vehicle’s appearance prompted further inspection, leading to the discovery of 18 packages of cocaine hidden in the rocker panels.

The following day, at the Ysleta Port of Entry, CBP officers uncovered 11.2 pounds of fentanyl powder hidden within a 2012 Ibiza compact car driven by a 26-year-old Mexican national. During a detailed examination at the port’s secondary inspection area, officers found 15 packages of fentanyl in the vehicle’s console, with a street value of $230,000.
Additional seizures throughout the week resulted in the interception of 70.8 pounds of cocaine, contributing to the overall $1.5 million worth of narcotics prevented from reaching the streets.

Narcotic smuggling by Mexican cartels often targets moving drugs northward away from border regions. The impact of fentanyl overdoses extends nationwide, with El Paso County witnessing nearly 70 fentanyl-related deaths in 2022 alone, underscoring the urgency of combating the proliferation of this deadly substance.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has launched a public awareness campaign titled “One Pill Can Kill,” warning of the dangers posed by counterfeit pills containing lethal doses of fentanyl, with 1 in 7 such pills originating from Mexican drug cartels, according to DEA testing.

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