Rio Grande Sector Border Patrol Agents Seize More Than 800 Pounds of Marijuana, Worth an Estimated $647,000

This is what about 800 pounds of marijuana looks like. This batch of pot was seized by BPD agents in Hidalgo, Texas, back in January 2018. (We assume the latest seizures weren’t as photogenic.)

EDINBURG, Texas– Over the weekend, Border Patrol agents interdicted multiple marijuana smuggling attempts, collecting a total of 810 pounds of pot with an estimated street value of $647,000.

The afternoon of Dec. 18, Brownsville Station agents in Texas observed multiple individuals near a Chevrolet Tahoe parked on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande. The Tahoe was then seen leaving the area and driving on Military Highway. Agents attempted to stop the vehicle, but the suspect failed to yield. Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers in the area, assisted Border Patrol by taking over pursuit.

The driver of the Tahoe changed direction and began driving towards the Rio Grande River. The suspect vehicle was eventually driven into the river, where it was partially submerged. The driver and a passenger were seen swimming into Mexico. Agents retrieved 15 bundles of marijuana weighing approximately 348 pounds, with an estimated value of $278,000. The marijuana and vehicle were turned over to DPS.

Later that day, Fort Brown Border Patrol agents in Brownsville were alerted to three subjects carrying bundles of suspected narcotics near Highway 4. Agents searched the area where the suspects were last seen and discovered three abandoned bundles of marijuana weighing about 114 pounds with an estimated street value of over $91,000. The suspects were not located.

The evening of Dec. 20, Rio Grande City agents working near El Refugio, Texas, observed a vehicle driving at a high rate of speed away from Rio Grande and onto the Expressway 83. Agents then observed the vehicle drive into a nearby neighborhood. The occupants of the vehicle were seen abandoning the vehicle and running into a nearby residence. Agents inspected the abandoned vehicle and found four large bundles of marijuana inside, weighing 348 pounds with an approximate value of $278,000. The suspects were later taken into custody by the Rio Grande City Police Department, which also received the pot and vehicle.

Border Patrol arrests sex offenders, criminal aliens in the Rio Grande Valley

EDINBURG, Texas – Over the weekend, Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol agents arrested three sex offenders and two members of violent criminal organizations.

Rio Grande City agents working near Roma, Texas, on Nov. 13 arrested a Guatemalan national, later identified as Amos Nemias Lopez-Ramirez, shortly after he illegally entered the United States. During processing, record checks revealed he is a confirmed Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang member. Records revealed he had previously been arrested in Virginia by the Harrisonburg Police Department for assault and sentenced to five years incarceration.

That same day, McAllen agents working in Los Ebanos, Texas, arrested a Guatemalan national whose record checks identified him as Jose Cottoc-Machic. Furthermore, agents discovered the man was previously arrested in Alabama by the Russellville Police Department and charged with sexual assault-rape 2nd degree. A judge sentenced Cottoc-Machic to eight years imprisonment but suspended his sentence to three months and five years probation.

The following morning, Falfurrias, Texas, agents arrested Jose Vasquez-Chavez, a Salvadoran national attempting to circumvent the immigration checkpoint. During processing, record checks revealed he had previously been arrested by the Katy Police Department for sexual assault of a child, convicted, and sentenced to two years confinement.

Later that evening, McAllen agents arrested a Mexican national, later identified as Fernando Jimenez-Rodriguez, after he illegally entered the United States.

Jose Tomas Vasquez-Chavez, convicted sex offender.

During processing, his record checks revealed a previous arrest by the Dallas Police Department for indecency with a child. Jimenez-Rodriguez received a two year prison sentence.

On Nov. 16, Rio Grande city agents on patrol near the Rio Grande in Roma, Texas, arrested a Mexican national after he was rafted across the river by a human smuggler. During processing, the man identified himself as a member of a criminal organization, Los Metros, which has been identified as a faction of the Gulf Cartel.