CALEXICO, Calif. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Calexico ports of entry over the weekend foiled two separate alleged smuggling attempts after discovering approximately $31,000 worth of marijuana, and about $180,000 worth of methamphetamine stashed in two SUVs.
The first incident occurred at about 3:00 p.m. on Friday, Mar. 7, when CBP officers referred a 48-year-old male Mexican citizen for further inspection after he arrived at the Calexico downtown port driving a 2003 Buick Rendezvous.
A CBP canine team screened the vehicle and the detector dog alerted to the undercarriage, leading officers to the discovery of 20 wrapped packages of methamphetamine concealed inside a hidden compartment built into the rocker panels.
Officers removed a total weight of about 28 pounds of methamphetamine from the vehicle.
The driver, a lawful permanent resident and resident of Mexicali, Baja California, was arrested and turned over to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents for further processing.
The second incident occurred on Sunday, Mar. 9, at about 1:00 p.m., when CBP officers at the Calexico East port of entry encountered a 26-year-old male Mexican citizen driving a 2001 Chevrolet Suburban. The vehicle and driver were referred for further review.
During an intensive inspection, a CBP detector dog alerted to the rear section of the vehicle’s interior. Officers continued searching the vehicle and subsequently discovered 31 wrapped packages containing about 69 pounds of marijuana concealed inside the gas tank.
The driver, a resident of Mexicali, Baja California, was arrested and turned over to the custody of HSI agents for further processing.
CBP placed an immigration hold on both suspects to initiate removal from the United States at the conclusion of their criminal proceedings.
CBP seized the vehicles 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.