Border Protection Director says failed smuggling attempt a "sign

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Border Protection Director says failed smuggling attempt a "significant loss" to cartels

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Photo courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Photo courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection

EL PASO, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the El Paso port of entry busted a man with 437 pounds of pot hidden in his truck. 

It happened Monday at around 5:30 pm when 30-year-old Julio Cesar Portillo Lopez was attempting to cross the border into the United States in his Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck. 

Officers say they noticed "anomalies" during their interview with Lopez at the Paso Del Norte international crossing. 

They asked Lopez to pull his pickup truck over for a secondary exam, and a drug-sniffing dog alerted officers to the undercarriage of the truck.

During the exam, officers found 258 marijuana bundles hidden in the bed and cabin of the pickup.

CBP El Paso Port Director Hector Mancha says, "This is a large quantity of drugs to be concealed in a single vehicle. This is a significant loss for a drug trafficking organization."

The estimated street value of the seized marijuana is $350,000.

CBP officers arrested Lopez and turned him over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in connection with the failed smuggling attempt.

Lopez is currently detained at the El Paso County jail without bond.

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