Monday, January 11, 2010


Federal authorities are now investigating the seizure of more than three tons of marijuana east of Rio Grande City on Friday afternoon, Dec. 4, with the episode resulting in the arrest of one man who listed a Florida address.

The arrest and seizure was carried out by a Starr County Sheriff’s Department deputy who stopped the 18-wheeler because the vehicle’s tail lights were not visible due to being dirty.

Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Guillermo Pena noted, “The case has been transferred to the jurisdiction (at the federal level) of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).”

Pena noted, “The incident happened on Friday, Dec. 4 at 1:19 p.m. on U.S. 83 adjacent to Las Brisas Road east of Rio Grande City. The vehicle, an 18-wheeler, was stopped because the taillight could not be seen.”

Pena indicated that once the interior of the 18-wheeler was searched, 475 bundles of marijuana weighing 6350.53 pounds were discovered.

The Chief Deputy stated, “No charges were filed locally; the case is now under the jurisdiction of the U.S. government.”

Neil Castro, 38, the driver of the 18-wheeler, was taken into custody. He had an ID on his person that identified him as being a resident of Naples, Florida.

The drugs and vehicle were also turned over to the custody of federal authorities.

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