CBP seizes narcotics worth $681K at Mid-Valley International Bridges in Texas

PHARR, Texas—Two persons were arrested Sept. 18 in connection with two failed drug smuggling attempts of alleged methamphetamine and marijuana in separate, unrelated incidents.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) made the busts at the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility and at the Anzalduas International Bridge in Texas.

“These two seizures of narcotics in separate environments are indicative of drug-smuggling organizations’ persistence in bringing drugs across the border,” said Port Director Carlos Rodriguez, Port of Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas. “Our officers remain committed to the safety of our communities and seizures like these are the result.”

At left: Packages containing 486 pounds of marijuana seized by CBP officers at Pharr International Bridge, Texas.

On Sept. 16, 2020, a CBP officer assigned to the Anzalduas-Reynosa International Bridge referred for further inspection a 23-year-old woman, a U.S. citizen from Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico who was driving a Chrysler Pacifica. Using non-intrusive imaging (NII) equipment as part of the secondary examination, officers discovered 21 packages of alleged methamphetamine weighing 29 pounds (13.24 kg) concealed within the car. The drugs have a street value of $583,778.

Later that day at the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility, a CBP officer referred a 63-year-old male Mexican citizen driving a tractor with an empty trailer for a secondary examination, which resulted in the discovery of 204 packages of alleged marijuana hidden within the trailer. The packages that weighed 486 pounds (220.5 kg) are valued at $97,222.

CBP OFO seized all the narcotics, the tractor/trailer and the car and arrested the man and woman. Agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) took them both into custody and continue with the investigations.

Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection. For more information about CBP, please click on the attached link.

Organic is as organic does

As you unwrap your Hershey’s chocolate bar, you’re probably wondering, “Is this organic?” Just kidding. But people (Simon B. People of Kingman) asked me, “what are organic vegetables?”

Picture this: The temperature is a comfortable 102 degrees outside. You are pushing your shopping cart through the air-conditioned aisles of Safeway, Smith’s or Basha’s, staring at the fruit. “On one hand, you have a conventionally grown apple,” the Mayo Clinic observes. “On the other, you have one that’s organic. Both apples are firm, shiny and red. Both provide vitamins and fiber, and both are free of fat, sodium and cholesterol. Which should you choose?”

Why pick “organic” over the non-organic, particularly since the former usually costs more than the latter?

Organic refers to the way farmers grow and process agricultural products, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products and meat. Organic farming practices are designed to meet the following goals:

  • Enhance soil and water quality
  • Reduce pollution
  • Provide safe, healthy livestock habitats
  • Enable natural livestock behavior
  • Promote a self-sustaining cycle of resources on a farm

There’s a lot more to this, but in order to be able to boast that your veggies are “organic,” it must be produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. In addition, organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones.

“Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation,” says our friends at Medicine.net. (I don’t know about you, but I can do without the sludge.)

The USDA defines organic foods as products that are at least 95% organic according to the standard usage of the term. If manufacturers wish, they may use the USDA organic seal when marketing their products. Products that contain 100% organic ingredients may be labeled as “100% organic.” Use of the USDA seal is not mandatory, however, so you may not see the seal on all organic products. And “natural” is not the same as “organic.”

Are organic foods healthier for you? Well, they’re certainly popular. The U.S. organic sector posted a banner year in 2019, with organic sales in the food and non-food markets totaling a record $55.1 billion, up a solid 5 percent from the previous year, according to the Organic Trade Association.

The US Department of Agriculture makes no claims on whether organic is healthier and safer for you than non-organic. However, many people (including Simon B. People and his wife, Sarah) say that organic food tastes better and triggers fewer allergies.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems Lead to Several Arrests In Del Rio, Texas Area

DEL RIO, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents made several arrests with the assistance of CBP Air and Marine Operations’ Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) on Sept. 16.

In five separate events, UAS crews assisted agents in the field, resulting in 26 arrests. Eight illegal aliens were located and arrested near Comstock, 10 near Del Rio, seven near Eagle Pass, and four near Carrizo Springs, Customs and Border Patrol said.

Air and Marine Operations crews use cutting-edge systems technology, and real-time networked data dissemination and exploitation to detect, identify, monitor, and coordinate a response with law enforcement partners to threats at the nation’s border and on approach to the United States. This real-time view allows agents to effectively patrol vast amounts of land that may be otherwise inaccessible to agents.