Calexico, Calif. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Calexico downtown port of entry seized close to a half million dollars worth of narcotics in two separate incidents yesterday, Thursday, September 9.
The first seizure occurred at about 8:00 a.m. when CBP officers arrested a 45-year-old female Mexican citizen after 45 pounds of cocaine was discovered hidden in the vehicle she was driving.
CBP officers with the port's Anti-Terrorism Contraband Enforcement Team (A-TCET) were conducting an enforcement operation when a detector dog alerted to the rear area of the black 2001 Chevy Tracker as it waited in line for inspection. Officers escorted both the driver and vehicle to the secondary inspection area for further investigation.
An intensive inspection led officers to the discovery of 16 wrapped packages of cocaine concealed inside the rear doors and spare tire of the vehicle. The estimated street value of the narcotic is $360,000.
CBP officers turned the driver, a lawful permanent resident of El Centro, Calif., over to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents for further processing.
The second seizure occurred at about 9:00 p.m. when a CBP officer and his canine were conducting an enforcement operation in the secondary inspection area and the canine alerted to the dash board of a tan 1997 Mercury Grand Marquis.
Officers conducted an intensive inspection which led them to the discovery of five wrapped packages of methamphetamines concealed inside a specially built compartment in the dashboard area. The weight of the narcotic was 13 pounds with a street value of $136,500.
The driver, a 43-year-old male United States citizen and resident of Mexicali, was arrested and turned over to the custody of ICE agents.
In both incidents, the drivers were transported to the Imperial Country jail where they are currently awaiting arraignment.
CBP placed an immigration hold on the female Mexican citizen to initiate removal from the United States at the conclusion of her criminal proceedings.
CBP officers 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.