(The Center Square) – In the first month of 2023, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in El Paso, Texas, seized more than 500 pounds of hard drugs, apprehended 62 people with outstanding arrest warrants, including sex offenders, CBP said.
On Jan. 7, for example, a 42-year-old male Venezuelan citizen attempted to enter Texas by walking across the Paso Del Norte border crossing from Mexico. After questioning him and running a background check, CBP officers discovered that he had an outstanding warrant for sexual offense against a child from Wake County Sheriff’s Office in Raleigh, North Carolina, CBP said.
The others CBP officers apprehended and arrested were being sought on a variety of charges including cruelty towards a child, molestation of a minor, abuse of a child, and assault, CBP says.
Agents also apprehended 10 fugitives in the last three days of the month at El Paso area ports of entry being sought for larceny, assault, DUI and other charges.
On Jan. 30, for example, CBP officers encountered a 37-year-old male with Lawful Permanent Resident status arriving from Mexico in a vehicle. After performing a records check, CBP officers found that he had an outstanding warrant for his arrest out of the Brown County Sheriff’s Office in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He was arrested by CBP officers and turned over to local authorities pending extradition.
El Paso CBP port of entry officers also intercepted 327.78 pounds of methamphetamine, 139.81 pounds of cocaine, and 42.7 pounds of fentanyl in the month of January.
On Jan. 16, at the Bridge of the Americas border crossing in El Paso, CBP officers intercepted 11.9 pounds of fentanyl. A canine identified a vehicle being driven by a 39-year-old Mexican national who claimed to be pregnant and was traveling with her adult daughter.
On Jan. 19, at the Stanton Dedicated Commuter Lane in El Paso, officers intercepted 87.85 pounds of cocaine hidden in the trunk of a vehicle driven by a 22-year-old Mexican citizen.
On Jan. 23, at the Marcelino Serna Port of Entry in Tornillo, officers intercepted 27.18 pounds of methamphetamine hidden inside a propane tank in a vehicle driven by a 34-year-old male Mexican citizen.
On Jan. 25, at the Paso del Norte border crossing in El Paso, CBP officers intercepted 141.75 pounds of methamphetamine concealed inside a vehicle driven by a 33-year-old male Mexican citizen.
In addition to these seizures, El Paso Sector CBP officers through multiple stops seized a total 15.4 pounds of fentanyl, 51.96 pounds of cocaine and 13.48 pounds of methamphetamine. Some of the seizures involved body carriers.
The subjects were arrested and turned over to Homeland Security Investigations and/or state and local authorities for prosecution, CBP said.
While notable, these seizures and apprehensions represent a fraction of the amount of people and drugs being trafficked to the southern border between ports of entry, law enforcement officers have told The Center Square.
In December, the El Paso mayor declared a state of emergency after record numbers of people were released onto city streets and sidewalks by the Biden administration. Gov. Greg Abbott also sent 400 National Guard troops to restore order and provide humanitarian assistance.
In December, at least 55,766 illegal foreign nationals were apprehended in the El Paso Sector in addition to 32,632 known and recorded gotaways, those who intentionally enter illegally and evade capture by law enforcement, according to Border Patrol data obtained by The Center Square.