People cross into the U.S. via the Gateway to the Americas International Bridge border at the U.S.-Mexico border near Laredo, Texas. Photo by Aaron M. Sprecher/UPI | License Photo
Nov. 27 (UPI) -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents in Laredo, Texas seized 302 pounds of methamphetamine with a street value of more than $2.7 million at the Columbia-Solidarity Bridge, officials announced Monday.
Officers seized the drugs last Wednesday after agents diverted a 41-year old Mexican citizen, driving a 2004 F-350 pickup truck, for secondary inspection at the border crossing station. Officers discovered the methamphetamine using drug dogs and X-rays, the CBP said in a statement.
The agency determined the narcotics had a potential street value of $2,781,318, officials said. Authorities seized the vehicle and special agents from the Department of Homeland Security assumed the next steps in the investigation.
"Seizures like this aim to prevent the trafficking of narcotics into our country, preserve public safety and enforce drug laws," Port Director Alberto Flores, Laredo Port of Entry, said in a statement.
"CBP officers employ various methods of inspections to identify and confiscate illegal substances before they harm our communities."
This is the latest in a series of high dollar drug confiscations at the Laredo port of entry. Officials seized 2,135 pounds of meth in August with an estimated street value of more than $19 million. A bust in September stopped a $7.7 million shipment inside a Freightliner big rig, and last November, CBP seized $18.6 million worth of methamphetamine from smugglers at the World Trade Bridge in Laredo.
In June, four U.S. citizens and one Mexican national were sentenced to prison following their convictions for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute meth associated with the Michoacan drug cartel, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.
Those arrests and convictions were the result of a "complex conspiracy which began Feb. 1, 2017, and continued through Sept. 29, 2018," Hamdani's office said in a statement.
"Smugglers assisted drug traffickers in Mexico by finding and recruiting drivers willing to transport large quantities of high-purity meth through Laredo and further into the United States," the statement said.