Calexico, Calif. - U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Calexico Station seized cocaine with an estimated value of $880,000 concealed in a vehicle on Monday afternoon during checkpoint operations on Interstate 8.
At approximately 2 p.m., a Border Patrol canine team alerted agents to the possible presence of narcotics in a gold 2003 Ford Explorer sport utility vehicle while performing a cursory inspection. The vehicle, driven by a male Mexican citizen who is a lawfully admitted permanent resident of the United States, was subsequently referred to the secondary inspection area. During a thorough search of the vehicle, wrapped packages of cocaine were discovered concealed in an after-market compartment underneath the center console.
According to El Centro Sector Chief Patrol Agent Jeffrey A. Calhoon, the highway seizure illustrates the U.S. Border Patrol's three-tiered strategy for intercepting dangerous narcotics.
"We will never let up when it comes to keeping dangerous narcotics from reaching the streets of our communities," he said. "Whether cutting off the flow of illegal drugs and smugglers on the border between ports of entry, on our highways or at transportation hubs, we will remain vigilant."
The suspect was arrested and turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration along with the vehicle and narcotics.
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.