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      Feds: Passenger bus used as a front for drug smuggling

      Heroin seized from a passenger bus at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge // CBP Photo

      They drove a full-sized passenger bus across the country with only a couple of passengers but didn't lose any money on the deal.

      Authorities are now investigating a cross-border drug smuggling ring that allegedly used a passenger bus the regularly went across the border.

      U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers arrested bus drivers Oscar Delgadillo and Israel Hernandez-Rodriguez on Friday.

      The two men are facing federal drug charges after customs officers allegedly found close to 57.5 pounds of heroin aboard a passenger bus they were driving.

      Court records show that they drove up from Mexico in a passenger bus at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge on Friday.

      Customs officers sent the bus to secondary inspection where they noticed abnormalities with the car batteries and found 24 bundles of heroin inside of them.

      The two bus drivers said they had been using the bus to run drugs to Chicago and Atlanta and then taking cash back to Mexico at least 10 times before.

      Both Delgadillo and Hernandez-Rodriguez appeared before U.S Magistrate Judge Dorina Ramos in McAllen on Monday morning where they were denied bonds until a Thursday morning hearing.

      Records show that Delgadillo is an American citizen from Dallas while Hernandez-Rodriguez is a Mexican national from Michoacan.

      Court records show that the two had previous a history of smuggling incidents and that the bus trips did not appear to be legitimate because the bus often had few or no passengers.

      Action 4 News spoke to the bus owner in Dallas, who said he had no knowledge of illegal activity and had been renting the bus since November to Autobuses Cadena out of Puebla, Mexico.