LAREDO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at eight South Texas ports of entry seized a significant amount of narcotics, unreported currency, weapons and uncovered numerous immigration violations during 2021, most notably a 1,066% increase in fentanyl and a 98% increase in cocaine seized. (Fiscal year 2021 began October 1, 2020 and ended Sept. 30, 2021.)
“Faced with significantly less traffic due to travel restrictions imposed for public health reasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the drug and contraband threat remained the same and our frontline CBP officers rose to the challenge to meet that threat head on,” said Director, Field Operations Randy J. Howe, Laredo Field Office. “Our significant gains in fentanyl and cocaine seizures underscore the deadly nature of the contraband we encounter, the need to utilize Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to protect our officers and our continued resolve to carry out our vital border security mission.”
During FY 2021, officers at the eight ports of entry extending from Brownsville to Del Rio that comprise the Laredo Field Office seized 87,652 pounds of narcotics that would have commanded a combined estimated street value of $786 million. Specifically, they seized 41,713 pounds of marijuana; 8,592 pounds of cocaine, up 98% from FY 20; 33,777 pounds of methamphetamine; 1,215 pounds of heroin, 588 pounds of fentanyl, up 1,066 percent from FY 2020, $10.4 million in unreported currency, 463 weapons, up 21% from FY 2020 and 84,863 rounds of ammunition.
Officers at Laredo Field Office ports of entry said they also determined that more than 20,701 non-U.S. citizens were inadmissible to the U.S. due to violations of immigration law in FY 2021.