More Than 8.5 Tons of Marijuana Seized by Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol over Weekend

By Edwin Mora | December 7, 2010 | 3:40 PM EST

Border vehicle fence in New Mexico (El Paso district). (Photo courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol)

( - More than 17,000 pounds (8.5 tons) of marijuana were seized in multiple unrelated arrests last weekend by the Rio Grade Valley Border Patrol in Texas.

A Border Patrol press release revealed that the seized pot is valued up to $13.6 million.

The Border Patrol stated in the press release that most of the contraband was confiscated at the Border Patrol checkpoints in Falfurrias and Sarita located north of the Valley stretch from Brownsville to Rio Grande City.

Of the more than 17,000 pounds of marijuana, 8,700 pounds were seized at the Falfurrias checkpoint and 3,000 pounds at the Sarita checkpoint. More than 2,400 pounds were seized during two other incidents.

“The Falfurrias Checkpoint continues to rank as one of the top checkpoints in the nation for the seizure of narcotics,” Acting Chief Patrol Agent Armando Mercado Jr., said. “Thanks to the hard work and dedication of Border Patrol agents in the Rio Grande Valley Sector, more than 8 tons of marijuana were kept from reaching the streets of our communities."

Border Patrol is part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agency. 

Sarita is located in Kenedy County, Texas, which is among the U.S. counties with the lowest populations, according to the latest statistics from the Census Bureau. Falfurrias is part of Brooks County, Texas. The Falfurrias terrain is mainly comprised of privately owned ranches, according to CBP.