CALEXICO, Calif., — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Calexico ports of entry over the weekend seized methamphetamine and marijuana hidden in the rocker panels of two vehicles during separate incidents.
The first incident occurred shortly before 2:00 p.m. on Mar. 21, when a CBP canine team was screening vehicles as they waited in line for inspection at the Calexico East port of entry. The detector dog alerted to a 2007 Ford Focus, and officers escorted the vehicle and driver, a 31-year-old male Mexican citizen, for further examination.
During an intensive inspection, CBP officers utilized the port’s imaging system and detected anomalies within the rocker panels of the vehicle. Officers continued searching the vehicle and discovered 19 wrapped packages of marijuana, weighing 22 pounds, and 10 packages of methamphetamine, weighing 11 pounds, concealed inside both rocker panels.
The marijuana has an estimated street value of almost $10,000; the methamphetamine is valued at approximately $72,000.
The second incident occurred shortly after 6:00 a.m. on Mar. 22, when CBP officers encountered a 29-year-old female Mexican citizen driver after she arrived at the Calexico downtown port of entry driving a 2006 Ford Fusion. The vehicle and driver were referred for further investigation.
During an intensive inspection, a CBP detector dog alerted to the vehicle’s interior. A subsequent search led officers to the discovery of 25 wrapped packages of methamphetamine concealed within both rocker panels of the vehicle.
The total weight of the narcotics was 35 pounds, with an estimated street value of more than $100,000.
In both incidents, the drivers, each residents of Mexicali, Baja Calif., were arrested and turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations agents for further processing. They were both later transported to the Imperial County Jail to await arraignment.
CBP seized the vehicles and the 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.