By BETHANY BLANKLEY
THE CENTER SQUARE CONTRIBUTOR
(The Center Square) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents continue to seize deadly narcotics at the Texas-Mexico border.
In four traffic stops in three days, agents confiscated more than $12 million worth of illegal drugs.
Since President Joe Biden took office, federal agents have confiscated enough fentanyl smuggled through the southern border to kill roughly 5 billion people. Since last March, Texas Department of Public Safety officers have confiscated enough fentanyl to kill everyone in the United States.
In the past week, agents at three ports of entry in Texas – Eagle Pass, Brownsville and Laredo – confiscated large amounts of illicit drugs and narcotics, a miniscule fraction of what is coming through.
On Sept. 24, CBP agents at the Eagle Pass International Bridge intercepted $578,456 worth of fentanyl, cocaine and methamphetamine in one stop.
The bridge sees an average of 7,418 non-commercial vehicles, and 17,958 commercial vehicles come across every day from Piedras Negras, Mexico.
In one stop, a 22-year-old man driving a black Chevrolet Aveo attempted to bring in 17 packages hidden inside his vehicle. CBP agents confiscated 7 pounds (3.2kg) of fentanyl, 20.9 pounds (9.5kg) of cocaine and 14.9 pounds (6.8kg) of methamphetamine.
At the Gateway International Bridge at the Brownsville Port of Entry, agents intercepted narcotics with a combined estimated street value of $306,427.
On Sept. 21, a 25-year-old Mexican citizen and resident of Matamoros, Tamaulipas, driving a 2014 Ford, was stopped. Upon inspection of his vehicle by a canine unit, CBP officers discovered a package of 2.31 pounds of cocaine worth nearly $31,000 in street value.
On Sept. 24, a 40-year-old U.S. citizen and resident of Brownsville, driving a 2009 Chevrolet, was stopped. Upon inspection of her vehicle using a canine unit, agents found nine packages containing 20.63 pounds of cocaine worth roughly $275,520.
“Every drug seizure big or small helps keep our borders secure and is one less load that reaches our streets,” Brownsville Port of Entry Director Tater Ortiz said.
At the Laredo Port of Entry at the World Trade International Bridge, CBP agents seized nearly $11.5 million worth of hard narcotics in one day in two noncommercial traffic stops, including 1,047 pounds of methamphetamine and 31 pounds of heroin.
The World Trade International Bridge is one of four international bridges connecting Laredo, Texas, and Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico. In August, the bridge saw 629,073 vehicles cross, of which 246,019 were commercial.
On Sept. 20, agents inspected a 2007 Wabash National trailer carrying a shipment of brooms. A canine unit helped uncover 32 packages of 80.73 pounds of cocaine hidden inside with an estimated street value of $1,077,946.
Later that night, agents inspected a 2004 Transcraft trailer carrying a shipment of sheetrock. A canine unit helped find 71 packages of 31.39 pounds of heroin and 2,551 packages of 1,047.19 pounds of methamphetamine hidden inside with an estimated street value of $10,412,400.
“CBP continues to work with our law enforcement partners to foil illicit transnational criminal organization attempts to smuggle their product through our cargo facilities,” Laredo Port of Entry Director Alberto Flores said. “These significant seizures are prime examples of how CBP’s border security management aids in the prevention of prohibited contraband from crossing the border.”
CBP officials seized the narcotics and vehicles in these instances and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations initiated criminal investigations into the drivers.