Border Patrol seizes 259 pounds of marijuana in Halloween bust

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A United States citizen was arrested early Halloween morning after Rio Grande City Border Patrol agents found several bundles of marijuana weighing nearly 260 pounds in his vehicle, according to a criminal complaint.

Abundio Flores, born in 1965, was charged with knowingly and intentionally possessing with intent to distribute about 259 pounds of marijuana.

At about 2:42 a.m., Border Patrol agents received a notification from their Tactical Operations Center regarding a drawbridge camera activation which showed two people carrying large bundles of suspected narcotics from the Rio Grande.

“(Border Patrol agents) were advised that the two individuals were observed on a separate camera activation returning empty handed back toward the Rio Grande River area,” the complaint said. “This area is known for narcotics and human smuggling.”

Upon arrival, the agents didn’t locate the bundles and the two people carrying them but they did find “fresh mud vehicle tire tracks” heading towards Salineno.

However, they lost the tracks shortly after.

It was then they utilized a handheld Forward Looking Infrared device which is used to detect radiation from heat sources.

As the agents continued searching for tracks, they observed another set of fresh mud tire tracks leading onto a property with an open gate, which was less than a mile from the camera activation.

“(Border Patrol agents) observed a vehicle parked at the rear of the residence which showed … as having substantial heat signature suggesting the vehicle was recently used,” the complaint said.

They observed a large bundle of suspected narcotics in plain view in the bed of an unoccupied pickup truck.

After a search of the area, agents found Flores hiding next to an abandoned structure on the same property.

They asked Flores why he was hiding and he admitted he was the driver of the vehicle with the suspected narcotics, according to the complaint.

Agents found the vehicle’s keys on Flores and located two bundles of suspected narcotics in the back seat, two additional bundles of suspected narcotics in the trunk and another bundle in the bed of the pickup truck.

The bundles tested positive for the properties and characteristics of marijuana.

Flores declined to provide a statement to law enforcement.

He’s scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nadia S. Medrano in McAllen federal court for a detention hearing Friday morning.