- The Washington Times - Monday, December 6, 2004

U.S. Border Patrol agents have seized more than nine tons of marijuana valued at about $15 million in 13 law enforcement actions along the U.S.-Mexican border in Arizona and Texas in the past four days, Border Patrol Chief David Aguilar said yesterday.

Border Patrol spokesman Mario Villarreal said agents assigned to the McAllen, Texas, sector took into custody during the four-day stretch the largest marijuana seizure recorded at an immigration checkpoint. He said agents discovered a tractor-trailer containing 229 bundles of marijuana weighing 5,736 pounds, with an estimated street value of more than $4.5 million.

The contraband, he said, was mixed with boxes of produce bound for Atlanta.

Mr. Aguilar called the seizures “a victory for public safety and health, and proof that while our priority mission is keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country,” the Border Patrol continues to focus on other important responsibilities.

“In fact, making the border safe from terrorists is making the border less hospitable to drug traffickers as well,” he said.

The Border Patrol is a part of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security. The Border Patrol is charged with the management, control, and protection of the nation’s borders at and between the official ports of entry.

CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

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