Calexico, Calif. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Calexico downtown port of entry stopped more than half a million dollars worth of cocaine from entering the U.S. over the weekend.
The first seizure occurred at about 9:15 a.m. on Saturday, October 29, when a CBP officer conducting inspections of vehicles and travelers escorted a 24-year-old male U.S. citizen driving a gold 2001 Ford Fusion for further examination.
During the intensive examination, a canine team was utilized to screen the vehicle and the detector dog alerted to the interior. A search of the interior led officers to the discovery of 13 wrapped packages of cocaine concealed inside a non-factory compartment underneath the vehicle's rear seat. The weight of the narcotic was 32 pounds with a street value of approximately $288,000.
CBP officers arrested the driver, a resident of Visalia, California, for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt.
The second seizure occurred three hours later when a detector dog alerted to silver 2001 Honda Civic as the driver and passenger waited in line for inspection. Both vehicle and occupants were escorted for further examination.
An intensive examination led officers to the discovery of 17 wrapped packages of cocaine concealed throughout the Civic. Eight packages were concealed behind the back rest of the rear seat, six packages were concealed inside the rear quarter panels, and three packages were concealed inside a speaker box located in the trunk of the vehicle. The total weight of the cocaine was 43 pounds with a street value of approximately $387,000.
CBP officers arrested the 19-year-old driver and 18-year-old passenger, both male U.S. citizens and residents of Calexico, for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt.
In both incidents, the violators were transferred over to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and transported to the Imperial County Jail where they currently await arraignment.
CBP seized the narcotics and vehicles.
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.