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Texas law enforcement, feds seize large amounts of cocaine, weapons at border

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(The Center Square) – Texas Department of Public Safety and U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers are seizing large quantities of cocaine at the border.

In two recent stops, they seized enough lethal doses of cocaine to kill more than 4.1 million people.

In McAllen, Texas, DPS officers working through Gov. Greg Abbott’s border security mission, Operation Lone Star, seized 98 kilos (216 pounds) of cocaine in one traffic stop. The cocaine seized had an estimated street value of $2 million and enough lethal doses to kill more than 3.2 million people.

According to AddictionResources.net, a lethal dose of cocaine is more than 30 milligrams.

On April 16, DPS Criminal Investigations Division officers, with the assistance of Texas Highway Patrol officers, pulled over the driver of a truck tractor semi-trailer for a traffic violation. A DPS trooper and CID special agents searched the trailer, going through a pallet of dried goods in the cargo area. They said uncovered 90 cellophane-wrapped bundles containing cocaine. Their investigation led them to a residence in McAllen where they found and seized three AR-15 rifles and one AK-47.

Three Mission, Texas, residents were arrested as a result of the operation: Francisco Marquez-Carretero, Tania Rodriguez-Hernandez and Christian Martinez Caudillo. They were charged with manufacturing and delivery of a controlled substance and transported to the Hidalgo County jail, according to a DPS statement.

Nearby, at the CBP Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry, CBP Office of Field Operations officers seized 57 pounds of cocaine in one traffic stop.

On April 25, a CBP officer at the Pharr International Bridge referred a 58-year-old Mexican citizen driving a 2008 Dodge vehicle to secondary inspection. A secondary non-intrusive inspection and canine unit found 24 packages hidden inside the vehicle that tested positive for cocaine. The amount seized contained enough lethal doses to kill more than 800,000 people and had an estimated street value of more than $761,000.

“This significant cocaine seizure is reflective of the strong enforcement posture of our frontline CBP officers and their effectiveness in applying inspections experience and technology,” Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas POE Director Carlos Rodriguez said in a statement. “Seizures like these exemplify CBP’s commitment to advancing our border security mission while facilitating lawful trade and travel.”

CBP seized the narcotics and vehicle. Homeland Security Investigations special agents arrested the driver and began a criminal investigation, according to a CBP announcement.

The next day, CBP OFO officers at the Del Rio Port of Entry seized weapons and ammunition heading for Mexico.

As law enforcement officers have explained to The Center Square, Mexican cartels and their operatives smuggle people and drugs north into the U.S. and smuggle weapons, cash and other contraband south to Mexico.

On April 24, CBP OFO Del Rio officers working outbound traffic leaving the U.S. for Mexico at the Del Rio International Bridge stopped the driver of a 2015 Chevy Express van for inspection. The driver, pulling a utility trailer, was referred for a non-intrusive inspection and canine examination. This led to the discovery of seven weapons, 104 rounds of ammunition, nine magazines and 59 grams of marijuana hidden inside the conveyance.

CBP seized the weapons, ammunition, magazines and marijuana. HSI agents began an investigation.

“This seizure serves as another example of the effectiveness and the utilization of officer experience and technology to prevent weapons from going south and causing greater harm,” Del Rio POE Director Liliana Flores said. “These types of seizures perfectly illustrate CBP’s resolute commitment to securing our shared border with Mexico.”

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