Drug smuggling suspects abandon stashes near border

Suspects jumped in river, swam across border

A marijuana-laden minivan driven into the Rio Grande by suspected drug smugglers

EDINBURG, Texas – Suspected drug smugglers in two separate incidents jumped into the Rio Grande River, abandoning their stashes and swam to Mexico to avoid U.S. border agents Thursday.

When a smuggler spotted U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents, he drove his marijuana-laden minivan into the river and then swam to Mexico, officials said. A wrecking serving pulled the van from the water and found more than 1,100 pounds of marijuana inside.

A similar amount of drugs was confiscated from a pickup truck in Granjeno, Texas. Agents said the driver of the truck and an accomplice abandoned their vehicle, jumped into the river and swam across the border. The pickup truck had been stolen from Pharr, Texas, investigators found.

A few smaller drug seizures brought the total amount of marijuana confiscated to nearly 3,500 pounds, officials said.