Conexión Del Río/Staff Report

LAREDO – Border Patrol agents from the Laredo Sector stopped an attempt to smuggle drugs at the Interstate Highway 35 Checkpoint. The alleged cocaine, hidden inside PVC cylinders, has a street value of over $1 million.

On Monday, August 22, 2016, Border Patrol agents assigned to the checkpoint on Interstate Highway 35 encountered a Ford Focus at the primary inspection lane. The driver was questioned regarding his immigration status when a service canine alerted to possible narcotics, or humans concealed within the vehicle. The driver was subsequently referred by agents to secondary for further inspection of the vehicle. 

While at secondary, agents searched the vehicle and discovered PVC cylinders within the gas tank area.  As agents removed the cylinders, they noticed packages with a substance that tested positive for cocaine.

A total of 10 cylinders were removed with a total weight of 33.63 pounds with a street value of $1,076,160.  Driver and narcotics were turned over to Drug Enforcement Administration. 

“Border Patrol checkpoints are a critical enforcement tool. Our Border Patrol agents remain vigilant against all threats, including concealment of illegal drugs,” said Chief Patrol Agent Mario Martinez. 

To report suspicious activity such as drug and/or alien smuggling, contact the Laredo Sector Border Patrol toll free telephone number at 1-800-343-1994.