Calexico, Calif.- U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Calexico ports of entry seized 128 pounds of cocaine in three separate incidents over the weekend. The combined street value of the three seizures is estimated at approximately $1,152,000.
The first seizure occurred on Friday, March 4, at about 6:00 p.m. at the Calexico downtown port of entry when officers arrested a 22-year-old male Mexican citizen after they found 49 pounds of cocaine hidden in the vehicle he was driving.
A CBP officer conducting inspections of vehicles and travelers escorted the white 2004 Ford Ranger to secondary after he detected anomalies to the bed of the pick-up truck during the primary inspection.
An intensive examination that included a canine screening led officers to the discovery of 20 wrapped packages concealed inside a non-factory compartment in the bed of the truck. The estimated street value of the cocaine is approximately $441,000.
The driver, a resident of Mexicali, Baja California, was turned over to the custody of ICE agents for further investigation of the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt.
The second seizure occurred on Saturday, March 5, at about 9:05 a.m. at the downtown port of entry when an officer conducting a secondary inspection, that included a canine unit, discovered 20 wrapped packages of cocaine concealed inside the gas tank of a white 2000 Nissan X-Terra. The weight of the narcotic was 51 pounds with an estimated street value of $459,000.
The third seizure occurred 15 minutes later at the Calexico East port of entry when a CBP officer conducting inspections of vehicles and travelers referred a 1991 Dodge pick-up truck aside for further inspection.
An intensive examination that included a canine screening and use of the port's x-ray imaging system led officers to the discovery of 11 wrapped packages of cocaine concealed inside specially built compartments on both the driver and passenger sides of the truck bed. The weight of the narcotic was 28 pounds with an estimated street value of approximately $252,000.
The driver, a 47-year-old male Mexicali resident, was arrested for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt and turned over to the custody of ICE agents for further processing.
In all three incidents, the drivers were transported to the Imperial Country Jail, where they are currently pending arraignment.
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.