CBP: Truck Bed Found With 700 lbs. of Marijuana

Monday, October 29, 2012 - 2:00pm

SANTA TERESA, NM — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Santa Teresa, NMPort of Entry made a large drug seizure on Saturday. CBP officers seized 701.5 pounds of marijuana and took custody of one person.

“This seizure was made due to the vigilance of our officers utilizing a combination of tools and experience to detect a deeply concealed load of narcotics,” said CBP Santa Teresa Port Director Joanne Thale-Lembo. “The sophistication of this concealment method shows the extent to which smugglers go to introduce contraband to the streets of America.”

A CBP officer interviewed the driver of a Ford F-350 Saturday and detected a number of issues After a secondary exam, officers said they found a compartment underneath the bed of the truck. Ten bales of marijuana weighing 701.5 pounds were discovered hidden in the truck.

CBP officers took custody of the driver, Jose Manuel Gomez Serrano, 55, a Legal Permanent Resident living in Portland, Oregon. He was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and arrested on federal smuggling charges and booked into the Dona Ana Detention Facility.

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