WESLACO–U.S. Border Patrol agents confiscated nearly 1,700 pounds of marijuana, with an estimated value of more than $1.3 million, in a pair of seizures last week.
The larger of the two occurred Wednesday near San Juan when agents saw smugglers quickly load a minivan with bundles of marijuana near the banks of the Rio Grande. The van headed north, but when the driver noticed agents approaching, he made an abrupt U-turn and sped back south.
The driver abandoned the minivan a short distance from the river and attempted to flee on foot, however he was apprehended after a brief foot pursuit. Inside the minivan agents found more than 1,000 pounds of marijuana.
In the second seizure, agents monitoring the border with a night vision scope saw several people carrying bundles emerge from the brush south of Weslaco. The agent lost sight of the smugglers near a sugar cane field, but was able to guide a group of agents to the location. During a search of the field, agents found nearly 700 pounds of marijuana that had been abandoned.
The driver and marijuana from the two seizures were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.