Photo: Fuel Tank of 16-Yr Old Drug Smuggler
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at the El Paso port of entry seized 126 pounds of marijuana Sunday afternoon. The drugs were hidden in a van being driven by a 16-year-old El Paso boy.
The seizure was made just before 3 p.m. when the juvenile drove a 1999 Chevrolet Astro van from Mexico to the U.S. at the Ysleta international crossing. A CBP officer at the primary inspection booth initiated an exam and then selected the vehicle for a secondary inspection. CBP drug sniffing dog “Dax” alerted to the vehicle during the exam. CBP officers continued their inspection and located a non-factory compartment concealed in the gas tank to the van. Two large bales of marijuana were removed from the fuel tank. The drugs weighed 126 pounds. The driver of the van was turned over to the El Paso Police Department for prosecution.
“Unfortunately some teens become involved in drug smuggling without realizing that the consequences of their actions can have a negative impact on their lives for many years to come,” said Norman Bebon, CBP El Paso assistant port director. “CBP officers at our area border crossings are vigilant and thorough and smugglers of any age, sex, race or ethnic group should understand that we are working hard everyday to identify and stop violators at the border.”
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.