Calexico, Calif. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers working at the downtown Calexico port of entry seized more than 80 pounds of cocaine with an estimated value of approximately $670,770 earlier this week.
The first seizure occurred around 7:40 a.m. on Monday, March 23, after a CBP detector dog alerted to a 2005 Toyota pickup truck driven by a 59 year-old male U. S. citizen. The vehicle was referred for a secondary inspection where it was x-rayed revealing several anomalies in the front fenders.
A further inspection of the vehicle fenders produced 21 concealed packages of cocaine. The total weight of the drugs was more than 49 pounds with an estimated value of $390,060.
The second seizure occurred later that morning at 11:43 p.m. A CBP officer referred a 40 year-old male Mexican citizen driving a 1999 Honda Accord to the secondary inspection lot after observing nervous behavior.
During further screening, a CBP canine alerted to the vehicle which resulted in the discovery of 12 packages of cocaine that was concealed in the gas tank. The total weight of the narcotics was more than 31 pounds with an estimated value $280,710.
Port Director Billy Whitford stressed the seizures were a result of hard work and keen observation.
"Our CBP officers, detector dogs and high-tech equipment make it extremely difficult for dangerous narcotics to pass through our ports of entry," he said. "The effective use of this combination should serve notice to smugglers -- we will remain vigilant!"
In both interceptions, the vehicles and narcotics were seized and the suspects were arrested by CBP.
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.