Police Chief: Inability to Move Drugs Led to Large Bust

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RIO GRANDE CITY - A Starr County police chief said extra law enforcement in the county is putting a dent in drug smuggling.

Earlier this week, the Starr County's HIDTA task force and Starr County District Attorney's Office investigators found 700 bundles of marijuana hidden in an underground bunker. Law enforcement officers said the bust was a surprise, since recent seizures usually aren’t that large.

The bunker was located in an abandoned home on San Julian Road, north of U.S Highway 83. Rio Grande City Police Chief Noe Castillo said the bundles likely started off in small quantities but accumulated, because smugglers couldn’t move them out.

“That could be an indicator that there's a lot of law enforcement, and it's hard to get the product across,” said Castillo.

Authorities said the bundles had different color packaging.  According to the Rio Grande City police chief, the packaging may have been a way to identify where the drug bundles came from and where they were headed.

“Every time there's law enforcement pressure, things change. They adapt to different ways of doing things,” said Castillo.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS learned the home and the property where the bust happened were abandoned at the time of the seizure. Authorities haven’t made any arrests. The investigation is ongoing.

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