September 12, 2008

CBP officers nab 60-year-old smuggling cocaine at EP port of entry

EL PASO -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at the Ysleta port of entry discovered 29.7 pounds of cocaine and 22.2 pounds of marijuana in a car being driven by a 60-year-old man, officials said.

Luis Vidal, 60, was arrested and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents for prosecution.

The bust was made Thursday morning and was one of many busts made by CBP officers working at area ports during the week.

Officials said a Ford F-150 driven by Vidal entered the port shortly after 5 a.m. During the primary inspection of the vehicle, drug sniffing dog "Taxi" alerted officers to the truck. After a secondary search of the vehicle, agents discovered a hidden compartment in the backseat of the truck.

CBP officers also made 19 drug busts during the week. They seized a total of 1,685 pounds of marijuana in 18 seizures and 29.8 pounds of cocaine in one additional bust.

Officers also recorded 118 immigration violations at area ports. Imposters made up the largest group of immigration violators and made up 52 of the violations. Officials say they generally use a legitimate entry document assigned to another person and present it as their own. Violators generally lose their documents and are returned to Mexico.

Officers also nabbed 40 intended immigrants this week. In these cases, individuals will use a legally issued border-crossing card (laser visa) to live or work in the U.S. Officials said this is not authorized. They also lose their documents and are generally returned to Mexico.

Officers also nabbed 26 people who made false claims to U.S. citizenship, attempted to enter with counterfeit or altered documents, visa overstay violations, and those attempting to enter without inspection.

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Should the Texas State Legislature pass immigration enforcement laws in 2009?