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Officials: Driver tried to smuggle more than 300 pounds of marijuana

By: Jesse Martinez
EL PASO, Texas More than $300,000 worth of marijuana was found hidden in the floor and bed of a truck that was trying to cross into the United States from Mexico, officials said.

Around 10 a.m. Thursday, a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado entered the Bridge of the Americas.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers along with Border Patrol agents began speaking with the driver, and then selected the truck for a more thorough screening.

After scanning the vehicle, authorities pulled back carpeting of the trucks floor and found a wrapped bundle, officials said.

As they continued their exam, authorities found 195 marijuana-filled bundles hidden in the vehicle. The drugs have an estimated street value of $304,800, and weighed a total of 381 pounds.

The discovery was initiated during a sweep of vehicles waiting to arrive at the primary inspection station, said Hector Mancha, CBP El Paso port director. These operations are useful because officers and agents can quickly scan numerous vehicles in a short period of time.

The driver of the Silverado was identified as Mauricio Rojo-Mares, 30, of Cuahtemoc, Chihuahua. He was turned over to federal agents in connection with the failed drug-smuggling attempt.



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