Rio Grande Valley (RGV) Border Patrol agents caught drug smugglers trying to float an SUV from Mexico into the U.S. across the Rio Grande River Tuesday evening.
Border Patrol agents working near Brownsville, Texas observed a Chevrolet Trailblazer being ferried across the Rio Grande and making an incursion into the U.S., according to a press release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Once spotted by the agents, the driver of the SUV “changed direction and headed back towards the Rio Grande” and soon after jumped into the river, swimming back into Mexico. (RELATED: Photos Reportedly Show Border Patrol Releasing Migrants Into Texas Towns)
Drug smugglers ferry SUV filled with drug bundles across the Rio Grande!#RGV agents disrupted two narcotics smuggling attempts which resulted in the seizure of more than 731lbs of marijuana.https://t.co/pB9aVMrVRx pic.twitter.com/fWDDQZ0vl8
— Chief Patrol Agent Brian Hastings (@USBPChiefRGV) March 23, 2022
Once intercepted, border agents extracted 28 bundles of marijuana with a weight of over 648 pounds from the SUV. The seized marijuana is valued at over $519,000, according to the press release.
This is not the first time drug smugglers have attempted to use vehicles as ferries to float illegal drugs across the border.
In April of 2021, Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol agents working near Brownsville saw a white Ford Ranger driving away from the banks of the Rio Grande River, according to a press release by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
When the agents responded, the vehicle changed direction and drove back towards the river before smugglers failed to load the vehicle onto a makeshift raft that had been used to bring it into the United States. The driver then jumped into the river and fled into Mexico, according to the press release. Border Patrol agents ended up confiscating 32 bundles of marijuana, weighing more than 730 pounds, worth over $500,000 from the truck.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection ended 2021 with more than 2 million migrant encounters, according to data.