Calexico, Calif. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Calexico, Calif., ports of entry seized more than $1.1 million worth of cocaine in two separate incidents.
CBP officers arrested a 28-year-old male U.S. citizen Tuesday morning at the Calexico Downtown Port of Entry after they found 73 pounds of cocaine in the vehicle he was driving when he entered the United States.
A CBP officer conducting vehicle primary inspections detected anomalies with the SUV during the examination. The officer requested a canine screening and the detector dog alerted to the rear end area of the vehicle. The driver and vehicle were escorted to the secondary examination area for further inspection.
An intensive inspection that included a Portable Contraband Detector or "Buster," that can locate density anomalies, led officers to the discovery of 28 packages concealed inside the spare tire. The estimated street value of the narcotic is $584,000.
CBP officers turned over the driver, a resident of Coachella, Calif., to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents for further investigation on the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt.
The second seizure occurred later the same morning at the Calexico East Port of Entry when officers with the port's Anti-Terrorism Contraband Enforcement Team escorted a 55-year-old male U.S. citizen to the secondary examination area after a detector dog alerted to his vehicle.
An intensive inspection of the 2008 sedan led officers to the discovery of 23 wrapped packages of cocaine concealed inside the rocker panels. The drugs weighed 67 pounds and had a street value of $536,000.
CBP officers arrested the driver, a resident of Yuma, Ariz., and transferred him to the custody ICE agents.
In both incidents, the drivers were transported to the Imperial Country jail where they are 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.