El Paso federal agents arrest 17 fugitives and $2.5 million worth of drugs during the week

Border Crime

A large line of cars on the Paso del Norte Bridge near Downtown El Paso wait to enter the United States. There are only two lanes open for commuter vehicles. (KTSM Photo/Raul Martinez)

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – El Paso agents with U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized more than 60 pounds of cocaine among other drugs and arrested 17 fugitives this week.

A federal official says a 22-year-old U.S. citizen attempted to cross the Paso Del Norte International Bridge on Aug.13 when agents conducted a secondary inspection of their vehicle. CBP agents discovered 37 pounds of cocaine and 12.5 pounds of fentanyl hidden in the vehicle.

“Our CBP officers are committed to securing our borders and keeping our communities safe by stopping these dangerous drugs from coming into our country,” Hector Mancha, U.S. Customs and Border Protection El Paso Director of Field Operation said. “We also work closely with federal, state and local law enforcement to apprehend fugitives from justice.”

On Aug. 17, agents conducted an inspection at the Union Pacific railroad yard, and discovered 650 pounds of marijuana hidden in the center of one of the rail cars.

The next day, agents at the Ysleta International Port of Entry said a 41-year-old fugitive was apprehended for probation violation related to a murder charge. The individual is wanted in Lewis County in Chehalis, Washington.

On Thursday, agents searched a vehicle driven by an 18-year-old U.S. citizen and discovered 23 pounds of cocaine and seven pounds of methamphetamine at the Santa Teresa International Port of Entry.

Altogether, agents also apprehended 16 other fugitives wanted for crimes including drug possession, migrant smuggling, failure to appear before a court and robbery.

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