Customs and Border Protection inspectors detailed their first large
narcotic seizure after confiscating more than $3.3 million worth of
marijuana Friday.

"As we begin a new chapter with the Bureau of Customs and Border
Protection, this seizure illustrates the determination and drive our
inspectors have to work as a team and keep the public safe from the
scourge of tearooms and narcotics smuggling," Gene Garza said Monday,
at a press conference. Garza was recently named interim port director
for BCBP Laredo.

The 3,365-pound marijuana seizure was intercepted at the World Trade
Bridge after an inspector referred a 1989 Volvo tractor hauling a
shipment of ornamental clay pottery for a close examination, according
to the press release.

During inspection is when officials reportedly noticed discrepancies
in the weight of the clay articles.

An inspector then opened one of the clay pedestals and retrieved a
tape-wrapped bundle, the press release stated.

Officials reported it was at that point when a narcotic detecting
canine alerted to his human partner for the odor of marijuana in the
bundle, the press release stated.

Inspectors thoroughly searched the shipment and detected 310 packages
of marijuana, which were weighed at 3,365 pounds, officials reported.

No arrests were made, but the case remains under investigation by
Special Agents of the Bureau of Immigration and Customs

Pubdate: Tue, 04 Mar 2003
Source: Laredo Morning Times (TX)
Copyright: 2003 Laredo Morning Times