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Thursday, August 1, 2013 - 3:01pm
EL PASO — U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers stopped a woman driving a Caravan who was later discovered to be concelaing 17.3 lbs. of cocaine. Two children were riding in the van as it attempted to cross the El Paso Port of Entry. The drugs have an estimated street value of $553,600, officials said.
“Every cocaine seizure we make is significant,” said Hector Mancha, CBP El Paso Port Director. “Smugglers go to great lengths to conceal their contraband and CBP officers are working hard to identify and stop all drug loads at the border.”
CBP officers also seized 290 pounds of marijuana in three additional drug seizures July 31.
The seizure occurred just before 3:00 p.m. Wednesday when 25-year-old Catalyne Codina of Canutillo, Texas attempted to cross. CBP officers selected the vehicle for a secondary exam. A CBP drug sniffing dog searched the van and alerted to the dashboard area. CBP officers scanned the vehicle with the Z-Portal x-ray system and spotted anomalies in the firewall of the vehicle. CBP officers removed multiple cocaine-filled bundles from the compartment.
CBP officers took custody of Codina, who is facing federal charges in connection with the failed smuggling attempt. The children were remanded to the custody of a relative.