CBP officers arrest SENTRI member with $141k in cocaine
Posted by Elizabeth Walton - email
YUMA, AZ (Tucson News Now) -
An Arizona woman with Secure Electronic Network for Traveler's Rapid Inspection (SENTRI) status has been arrested for smuggling drugs across the border.
The woman, identified as Maria Valle was arrested after a canine agent alerted to possible drugs in her car.
Border Patrol agents with the Port of San Luis searched Valle's car and found 15.5 pounds of cocaine hidden in Valle's purse. The six packages are worth an estimated $141,000.
Valle, her vehicle, and the packets of cocaine were turned over to U.S. ICE/HSI officials for processing.
"SENTRI members are treated with a higher level of trust, but are not exempt from inspection." said Acting Port Director Robert L. Schroeder, in a recent news release. "Violations such as drug smuggling will not be tolerated and those attempting to exploit the program will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
SENTRI, part of a trusted-traveler program, allows members access to a dedicated commuter lane that expedites the inspection process for low-risk travelers. Qualification for the program requires an extensive background check and in-person interview.