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Meth, cocaine, heroin seized in weekend seizures at El Paso border crossings

By: Jesse Martinez
EL PASO, Texas Several drug seizures were made over the weekend including liquid methamphetamine that was found hidden in a fuel tank, officials said.

These are all sizable and significant drug loads, said Hector Mancha, CBP El Paso port director. Anytime you stop multiple-pound loads of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin you are having an impact.

The meth was seized around 10:30 a.m. Sunday at the Ysleta port of entry when a drug-sniffing dog alerted U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers to a 1999 Ford Explorer.

After scanning the vehicle, officers noticed something odd about the fuel tank, which was later found with a non-factory wall inside, officials said.

The extra portion of the fuel tank was found to have about 129 pounds of liquid methamphetamine, officials said.

The driver, 52-year-old Gerardo Diaz Cerda of Ciudad Juarez, was turned over to federal agents and faces smuggling charges.

Around 7:15 p.m. Saturday at the Paso Del Norte international crossing, another drug-sniffing dog alerted officers to a 2002 Jeep Liberty that was waiting in line.

Officers later found that the vehicles battery had wrapped bundles of drugs hidden inside, officials said. Wrapped bundles were also found under the air filter.

In total, officers found five bundles of heroin, which weighed 7.5 pounds, and two bundles of cocaine, which weighed 2.6 pounds.

The driver of the Jeep Liberty, 27-year-old Omar Eduardo Vega Salas of Chihuahua City, was turned over to federal agents and faces smuggling charges.