SANTA TERESA, N.M. (KRQE) – U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers working at the Santa Teresa port of entry seized seven pounds of cocaine Sunday. The estimated street value of the seized cocaine is $224,000.
Ray Provencio, CBP Santa Teresa Port Director said the smugglers worked hard to hide the cocaine and CBP officers worked harder to find it.
The seizure was made just before 9 a.m. Sunday when a 2001 Jeep Cherokee entered the port from Mexico. A CBP officer at the primary inspection booth selected the vehicle for a secondary exam.
In the secondary exam area officers placed the vehicle on a lift and examined the undercarriage and engine area of the SUV. They noted a number of anomalies in the appearance of the engine area and when they removed the oil pan and located three bundles hidden inside. The contents of the packages tested positive for cocaine. The combined weight of the bundles was seven pounds.
CBP officers arrested the driver, 26-year-old Jesus Antonio Bustillos Ramirez of Chihuahua City, Chihuahua, Mexico. He was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations agents to face charges associated with the failed smuggling attempt.