$11.8 million worth of cocaine found in baby wipes shipment entering Texas, authorities say
Nearly 2,000 packages of baby wipes were seized in Laredo, Texas, after federal officers discovered narcotics hidden inside, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a news release.
The Friday seizure happened at the Laredo-Colombia Solidarity International Bridge, which runs over the border between the U.S. and Mexico and is a surveillance point for border patrol agents stationed in Laredo. According to the bureau, officers found more than 1,500 pounds of suspected cocaine inside a truck, purportedly carrying a large shipment of baby wipes, when the vehicle was referred for inspection as it entered Laredo.
A "non-intrusive" examination involving drug dogs revealed that 1,935 packages inside the 2016 Stoughton trailer actually contained almost as many pounds of narcotics. Officials estimated that the shipment's street value totaled more than $11.8 million.
"Officers assigned to CBP cargo facilities ensure effective border security by preventing and countering the flow of suspected narcotics entering the country," said Alberto Flores, the port director in Laredo, in a statement published with CBP's news release. "This seizure is a prime example of border security management and how it helps prevent dangerous narcotics from reaching our communities."
Randy Howe, director of field operations at the CBP office in Laredo, commented on the "record-setting" drug seizure in a tweet shared Monday, where he called it the "largest cocaine bust in 20 years." Special agents at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations are investigating the seizure, according to the release.
Border patrol officers in Laredo have reported smaller narcotics seizures throughout the summer. On Monday, the agency said it seized a shipment of fentanyl worth $390,000 from a car entering the U.S. from Mexico. In June and July, CBP said agents found a shipment of alleged cocaine worth more than $600,000 in the tires of a trailer said to be transporting juice, and more than $1 million worth of cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine inside a shipment of statues at the Laredo-Columbia Solidarity International Bridge.
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