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El Paso man, 19, tried to smuggle about $1 million worth of cocaine, officials say

By: Jesse Martinez
EL PASO, Texas A drug-sniffing dog at a local port of entry led officers to find just under $1 million worth of cocaine hidden inside a vehicle trying to cross into the United States, officials said.

The seizure happened around 9 a.m. Tuesday when Customs and Border Protection officers were alerted to a 2004 Ford Explorer Sport Trac, officials said.

Doky, the drug-sniffing dog, alerted officers, who then scanned the vehicle with an X-ray, officials said.

Officers noted something odd about the bed of the ruck, and officers later found 12 cocaine-filled bundles stashed in hidden compartments, officials said.

In total, officers seized 29.95 pounds of cocaine, which had an estimated street value of $958,400.

CBP remains vigilant in its homeland security mission, said Hector Mancha, CBP El Paso Port director. Every day CBP personnel are finding drugs, apprehending wanted people and stopping illegal immigration at area ports.

The driver, 19-year-old Erick Marquez of El Paso, was turned over to federal agents in connected to the failed drug smuggling attempt.



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