Calexico, Calif. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Calexico ports of entry yesterday seized 183 pounds of cocaine and marijuana valued at more than $500,000, in two separate smuggling attempts.
The first seizure occurred at about 7:30 a.m. at the Calexico downtown port after CBP officers discovered 60 pounds of cocaine hidden in a 1996 Chevrolet Silverado pick-up truck. The driver, a 43-year-old male United States citizen was arrested.
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 undercarriage of the white pick-up. Officers escorted both the driver and vehicle to the secondary area for further investigation.
Officers discovered 21 wrapped packages of cocaine concealed inside the gas tank. The estimated street value of the cocaine is $480,000.
CBP officers turned the driver, a resident of Calexico, California, over to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents for further processing.
The second seizure occurred approximately six hours later at the Calexico East port of entry when a CBP officer conducting inspections of travelers entering the United States referred the driver, a 38-year-old male Mexican citizen and vehicle to the secondary area for further examination.
Utilization of a detector dog and x-ray equipment to screen the 1993 Dodge Dakota led to the discovery of 16 wrapped packages of marijuana concealed inside specially built metal compartments inside the vehicle's four tires. The weight of the narcotic was 123 pounds with a street value of $123,000.
CBP officers arrested the Mexicali man and transferred him over to the custody of ICE agents.
In both incidents, the drivers were transported to the Imperial County jail where they currently await 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.