Smugglers drove this cocaine-laden UTV into the Rio Grande Valley. (Photo/CBP)

After Chase with UTV, Border Patrol Hauls $22.5M in Cocaine from Rio Grande

U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized 705 pounds of cocaine worth $22.5 million on Thursday after a brief chase resulted a drug-laden utility vehicle landing in the Rio Grande. Border Patrol agents in Garciasville, Texas, observed several people load the utility vehicle with bundles, and began to close in when the driver of the recreational all-terrain vehicle smashed through a gate and went into the river.

705 pounds of cocaine seized at the border, Jan. 17, 2019. (Photo/CBP)
The driver took the UTV into the Rio Grande, and he and the smugglers swam to Mexico with a few bundles. The Border Patrol then recovered 270 bricks of cocaine from the river. Also seized were walkie talkies, cell phones and gaming devices and tire deflation devices, also known as caltrops.
“705 pounds of cocaine, caltrops, evidence of sophisticated counter-surveillance and a splashdown in one encounter are an obvious reminder of the need for more personnel, technology and infrastructure in the Rio Grande Valley,” stated Acting Chief Patrol Agent Raul Ortiz. “Transnational Criminal Organizations continue to exploit areas along our western corridor that accounts for more than 90 percent of our traffic.” 
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Multimedia journalist James Cullum has reported for over a decade to newspapers, magazines and websites in the D.C. metro area. He excels at finding order in chaotic environments, from slave liberations in South Sudan to the halls of the power in Washington, D.C.

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