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$3.2 million in alleged cocaine seized at Texas border

By Kelly Murray, CNN

A tractor trailer coming into the US from Mexico was caught Friday carrying 427 pounds of alleged cocaine, the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said Sunday.

An officer stationed at the World Trade Bridge in Laredo, Texas, encountered a truck hauling papier-mâché handicrafts and sent it for a secondary examination, according to a CBP news release.

Officials used nonintrusive inspection equipment and found 101 packages containing 427 pounds of alleged cocaine with an estimated street value of $3.2 million.

The Office of Field Operations seized the drugs, and special agents with US Homeland Security Investigations are investigating, according to CBP.

“Our frontline officers continue to maintain strict vigilance in the commercial truck environment,” said Albert Flores, Port Director at the Laredo Port of Entry. “Their effective utilization of training, inspections experience and technology successfully prevented a significant load of cocaine from ever reaching US streets.”

In January, the CPB warned of a significant uptick in cocaine and fentanyl being seized at ports across south Texas.

During fiscal year 2021, the CPB said it seized 87,652 pounds of narcotics at ports comprising the Laredo Field Office with a street value of around $786 million, including 8,592 pounds of cocaine, up 98% from fiscal year 2020.

They seized 588 pounds of fentanyl, up 1,066% from FY 2020, according to CPB.

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