‘BIGGEST BUST in 20 yrs’: Texas border officials seize $11.8M worth of cocaine from BABY WIPES shipment

The trailer’s manifest said it was hauling baby wipes, but a canine and non-intrusive inspection found a trove of illicit narcotics — 1,935 packages of cocaine

‘BIGGEST BUST in 20 yrs’: Texas border officials seize $11.8M worth of cocaine from BABY WIPES shipment
Border protection officers in Texas discovered nearly $11,818,400 million worth of cocaine in a shipment labeled 'baby wipes' (US Customs and Border Protection)
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LAREDO, TEXAS: US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have seized more than 1,532 pounds of cocaine worth about $11.8M million hidden in a shipment of baby wipes. The discovery took place on August 26 at the Laredo-Colombia Solidarity International Bridge when CBP officers referred a 2016 Stoughton trailer for a secondary inspection, according to reports.

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As per the press release from the CBP on Monday, August 29, a canine and non-intrusive inspection revealed that 1,935 packages inside the 2016 Stoughton trailer contained "1,532.65 pounds of alleged cocaine within the shipment." "The narcotics had an estimated street value of $11,818,400," the release read. Commenting on the seizure, Port Director Alberto Flores, Laredo Port of Entry, said, "Officers assigned to CBP cargo facilities ensure effective border security by preventing and countering the flow of suspected narcotics entering the country. This seizure is a prime example of border security management and how it helps prevent dangerous narcotics from reaching our communities.”  

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Randy Howe, director of field operations at the CBP office in Laredo, commented on the drug seizure in a tweet on August 29. He wrote, "Colossal, record-setting seizure. Largest Cocaine bust in 20 years! The Laredo Port of Entry seizes over 1,500 pounds of cocaine from Transnational Criminal Organizations! Extremely proud of our @CBP employees for keeping our communities safe." 

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Authorities are investigating the shipment, with the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations leading the case, as per the release.

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Seize of $841K and $1.4M hard narcotics 

Border patrol officers in Laredo have reported narcotics seizures earlier. On March 6, CBP, Office of Field Operations (OFO) officers at the Juarez-Lincoln Bridge seized hard narcotics that cost over $841K. "The seizure occurred on Sunday, March 6, when a CBP officer assigned to the Juarez-Lincoln Bridge referred a 1996 MCI commercial bus making entry from Mexico for secondary inspection. The commercial bus was driven by a 52-year-old male Mexican citizen. Following a canine and non-intrusive imaging system examination, CBP officers discovered a total of 64.48 pounds of alleged cocaine and 17.19 pounds of alleged methamphetamine concealed within the bus," the release read.

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Last year in June, CBP, OFO seized hard narcotics in four separate, unrelated incidents that valued over $1.4 million. In the first, as per the release, CBP officers found 7.80 pounds of alleged cocaine and packages containing 2.51 pounds of alleged methamphetamine. The second discovery led to 11.11 pounds of alleged methamphetamine within the shipment. the third one had 19.75 pounds of alleged methamphetamine, 32.67 pounds of alleged cocaine and 22.88 pounds of alleged fentanyl within the shipment; and the last had 7.05 pounds of alleged methamphetamine.

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