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This backpack seized at the port of entry in Columbus, NM carried nearly eight pounds of marijuana packaged in tightly wrapped bricks.
COLUMBUS, N.M. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at the Columbus port of entry seized 7.9 pounds of marijuana this morning. The drugs were hidden in a backpack carried by a 16-year-old female who attempted to enter the country as a pedestrian.

"Last spring we saw numerous cases of juveniles involved in drug smuggling. This most recent seizure should remind parents to talk to their children about smuggling because the consequences of this illegal activity can be severe and life altering," said Edward Sinderson, acting CBP Columbus Port Director.

The Thursday morning case occurred just after 7 a.m. when a 16-year-old girl from Palomas, Mexico, entered the port as a pedestrian.

A CBP officer at the primary inspection booth conducted an exam of the girl's backpack and noticed several brick shaped bundles inside. A total of seven marijuana-filled bundles weighing 7.9 pounds were removed from the backpack.

The teen was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special agents.

The seizure was the fifth marijuana bust made at the Columbus port so far in 2013. The other four seizures netted 257 pounds of marijuana. None of those cases involved juvenile drug smugglers.

While anti-terrorism is the primary mission of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the inspection process at the ports of entry associated with this mission results in impressive numbers of enforcement actions in all categories.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control, and protection of our Nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.