Calexico, Calif. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the
Calexico downtown port of entry discovered more than 9,000 pounds of marijuana concealed inside an open-top rail car -- known as a gondola -- that was destined for the U.S., officials announced today.
On Friday, June 4, at about 4:30 p.m., a commercial train coming from Mexico entered the Calexico downtown port of entry for inspection. Officers with the port's Anti-Terrorism Contraband Enforcement Team screened the rail cars with an x-ray imaging system that detected anomalies with the gondola's contents.
At the Calexico railroad yard, an intensive inspection that included a canine team led officers to the discovery of 352 wrapped packages concealed under layers of glass, dirt and wood in the gondola rail car. Ten additional packages concealed in two backpacks were also located on a second rail car. The street value of the narcotic load is more than $9 million.
"This is another example of how technology, detector dogs and hard work by our officers all contribute to keeping a large amount of dangerous drugs from reaching our communities," said Billy Whitford, port director for the Calexico port of entry.
CBP seized the narcotics and returned the shipment of glass, dirt and wood to Mexico.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.