Women arrested for smuggling drugs in their body cavities at the U.S. border
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Two women face multiple federal charges after allegedly trying to smuggle fentanyl from Mexico inside their bodies through the pedestrian lanes of El Paso’s Ysleta port of entry.
Angelysse Swink Gonzalez was charged with importation of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, according to BorderReport.com
In August, Gonzalez stated at the port of entry she was returning from visiting her grandmother on her birthday in Juarez, Mexico, but had no identification on her, court records showed. Gonzalez showed a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer a photo in her cellphone of a state identification card.
The officer noticed during the interview that Gonzalez appeared to be wearing a thick undergarment under her legging jeans. The officer sent her to a secondary inspection area where a female officer conducted a pat down and asked her to squat.
The officer reported the woman struggled to comply with her instructions, so she touched her and felt a bulge in the pelvic area. According to court records, Gonzalez voluntarily removed a sealed condom carrying 1,000 pills that tested positive for fentanyl.
Gonzalez was later interviewed by Homeland Security Investigators to whom she allegedly told a man in Las Cruces, New Mexico, offered her “work” for bringing drugs into the United States.
BorderReport reports that a day later, Ashley Judith Pedroza showed up at the same port of entry telling CBP officers she wanted to visit a relative in El Paso. The woman did not have a passport or other picture ID, but showed border officers her Social Security card and her daughter’s American birth certificate.
A records check revealed a federal government alert for Pedroza in connection to possible currency-smuggling activity, court records showed. She was sent to a secondary inspection where a female officer patted her down and allegedly felt bulges around the woman’s upper thigh.
Pedroza was asked if she was carrying more drugs and she allegedly said “yes.” She was asked to squat and then to surrender a sealed condom with 500 fentanyl pills from inside her body, court records showed.
CBP Office of Field Operations meth and fentanyl seizures is the El Paso area of responsibility, fiscal years 2022 and 2023, according to BorderReport.
In fiscal year 2022, CBP officers seized more than 321 pounds of fentanyl at El Paso ports of entry. In the first 10 months of Fiscal year 2023, they’ve already seized 312 pounds.