Digital Version of November/December 2014 Print Edition
Half-ton of marijuana found in truck at Texas border
A woman traveling with two children through the El Paso port of entry on Feb. 19 was also hauling a half ton of illegal drugs stashed in her Ram pickup truck.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations officers at the El Paso port ultimately pulled 1,061 pounds of marijuana from the vehicle with an estimated street value of $848,800. Palma Lyon, 32, of Socorro, NM, was detained and her two children were handed over to relatives, said the agency. Lyon was turned over to and arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents. She is currently detained at the El Paso County jail with no bond, said CBP.
“This is an exceptionally large amount of marijuana to be removed from a single vehicle,” said Barry Miller, CBP El Paso acting port director. “Smugglers utilized almost every available space in this pickup truck to conceal the drugs.”
The seizure occurred on Feb. 19 just after 11:00 p.m. at the Ysleta international crossing at the El Paso port of entry when the 1998 Dodge Ram pickup arrived from Mexico. CBP said its officers initiated an exam of the vehicle and selected it for a secondary exam. Once CBP drug sniffing dog “Johan” searched the truck and alerted to the presence of drugs, CBP said its officers began pulling bundles out of the vehicle, first from the quarter panel, then the gas tank, floorboards and spare tire. All told, CBP officers recovered 518 marijuana-filled bundles weighing 1,061 pounds from the vehicle.