TORNILLO, TEXAS - It seemed innocent at first glance, an older woman entering the U.S. from Mexico with nothing to declare.
That all changed when U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers discovered almost 17 pounds of heroin in her vehicle.
"This is not the first time we have stopped a senior smuggler and it probably won't be the last," said Donna Sifford, CBP port director at the Marcelino Serna port of entry. "Smugglers will try just about anything and this case is another example of why CBP must remain vigilant at all times."
The 75-year-old entered the port from Mexico in a 2008 Ford Escape Monday afternoon when she was selected for a secondary exam.
CBP officers located suspicious bundles in the center console, using a non-intrusive x-ray inspection system, and additional bundles in her purse.
The contents of the seven packages tested positive for heroin with a combined weight of 16.75 pounds.
The woman was arrested and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations special agents to face charges associated with the failed smuggling attempt.