On Friday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers discovered a record-breaking amount of cocaine disguised as a shipment of baby wipes.
The seizure was made at the Laredo-Colombia Solidarity International Bridge, a bridge that runs over the Rio Grande river and connects Laredo, Texas, to Colombia, a community in Mexico.
In a news release, the department stated that the narcotics were believed to have a street value of $11.8 million.
An officer requested that a 2016 Stoughton trailer believed to be carrying baby wipes undergo a secondary inspection. The agency used a drug-sniffing canine and a non-intrusive inspection system examination to further investigate the shipment’s contents.
Inside the trailer, Customs and Border Protection officials discovered 1,935 packages of suspected cocaine disguised as baby wipes.
“Officers assigned to CBP cargo facilities ensure effective border security by preventing and countering the flow of suspected narcotics entering the country,” said Laredo Port of Entry Director Alberto Flores. “This seizure is a prime example of border security management and how it helps prevent dangerous narcotics from reaching our communities.”
Director of field operations for the Customs and Border Protection’s Laredo field office Randy Howe posted on Twitter on Monday that the seizure had resulted in the interception of more than 1,500 pounds of cocaine.
Howe wrote that it was a “record setting seizure” and the “largest cocaine bust in 20 years!”
Howe also tweeted a seven-day recap on August 22, highlighting narcotics and other illegal items seized by officers at the port of entry throughout the week. He stated that, during that period, Laredo officers had intercepted 98 pounds of fentanyl and 1,501 pounds of methamphetamines. Howe estimated the street value of the narcotics to be about $21 million.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s drug seizure stats, the Laredo field office and sector, from October 2021 through July 2022, seized over 49,000 pounds of narcotics. Most of those seizures have been methamphetamines, and approximately 6,600 pounds have been cocaine.