McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — The amount of cocaine seized at U.S. ports of entry on the South Texas border shot up almost 20% in 2022, U.S. Customs and Border Protection reports.
Over 10,200 pounds of cocaine was confiscated at the eight ports in the region from Del Rio to Brownsville, Texas, in Fiscal Year 2022, CBP reported Tuesday. That was a 19% increase from Fiscal Year 2021.
Various Mexican drug cartels vie for control of the region, particularly in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, across from Laredo, Texas. This led to several incidents of gun violence in 2022 in the streets of the northern Mexican city, which could be heard across the Rio Grande.
In total, 47,755 pounds of narcotics were seized at ports in the region, which had a total street value of $436 million, the agency said. This included:
- 6,578 pounds of marijuana
- 10, 243 pounds of cocaine
- 30,400 pounds of methamphetamine
- 176 pounds of heroin
- 282 pounds of fentanyl.
CBP officers also confiscated $5.8 million in unreported currency; 320 weapons and 78,487 rounds of ammunition, the agency reports.
“As nonessential traffic resumed early in Fiscal Year 2022, overall workload volumes returned to normal but CBP officers continued to experience the ongoing trend of hard narcotics, particularly cocaine and significant gains in encounters of individuals without valid entry documents,” said Eugene Crawford, CBP Acting Director of Field Operations for the Laredo Field Office.
In Fiscal Year 2022, more than 57,732 non-U.S. citizens were deemed inadmissible to cross into the United States at these South Texas ports of entry. This was an increase of 177% from Fiscal Year 2021, the agency reports.
“The hard narcotics volume underscores the seriousness of the drug threat we face and hemispheric economic and security challenges also tend to drive the migration volumes,” Crawford said.
In a tweet Tuesday, the agency showed photos of bundles of drugs, ammunition and even monkeys that were confiscated at the ports in Fiscal Year 2022.
The agency reported CBP agriculture specialists intercepted 99,264 items of quarantine animal and plant material, and 5,015 pests.