Agents from the U.S. Border Patrol seized more than two and a half tons of marijuana Wednesday. The drugs have a street value of more than $4 million.
Agents at the Rio Grande City Border Patrol Station responded to suspicious activity Wednesday afternoon near Escobares in western Starr County.
When agents came upon what appeared to be a narcotics packaging operation inside a corrugated metal building, two men attempted to flee the area, but were caught.
Agents discovered several large bundles and an overwhelming marijuana odor that saturated the surrounding area. Further investigation revealed hundreds more bundles and packaging materials — grease buckets, saran wrap, lime sacks, gloves, and masks — commonly used to package marijuana.
Once weighed, the 412 bundles had a total weight of 5,680 pounds — with an estimated street value of $4.54 million.
The two men arrested near the operation were far enough away when they were caught by agents that they could not be connected to the drugs, said Dan Doty, spokesman for the Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley sector.
One man is a U.S. citizen and has been released, Doty said. The other is a Mexican national in the U.S. illegally who is now set to be deported, he said.
“We couldn’t really make a good enough connection of them to the narcotics,” Doty said.
The suspects and contraband were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration and the case remains under investigation.
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