Imperial Valley, Calif. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Imperial Valley ports of entry stopped approximately $1 million worth of narcotics from entering the U.S. this weekend.
The first incident occurred at about 3:30 p.m. on April 16, at the Andrade port of entry. A CBP officer inspecting vehicles and travelers referred a 38-year-old male Mexican citizen driving a white 1996 Chrysler Town and Country van for further examination.
During the intensive examination, a canine team screened the van and alerted to the interior. CBP officers discovered 11 wrapped packages of methamphetamine and four wrapped packages of cocaine concealed inside the dashboard area. The total weight of the narcotics was 23 pounds with a street value of approximately $231,000.
CBP officers arrested the driver, a lawful permanent resident of Calexico, California, for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt.
The second incident occurred at about 7:30 p.m. on the same day at the Calexico downtown port of entry. CBP officers inspecting travelers in the pedestrian processing area noticed an 18-year-old male Mexican citizen displaying suspicious behavior with an unusual bulge on his lower back.
During a closer inspection of the traveler, CBP officers found three wrapped packages of methamphetamine taped to the traveler's lower back and one package concealed underneath the traveler's waist band. The methamphetamine weighed four pounds, with a street value of approximately $44,000.
CBP officers arrested the traveler, a lawful permanent resident of Heber, California, for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt.
The third incident occurred at about 5:30 p.m. on April 17, at the Calexico downtown port. A canine team alerted to a grey 2008 Dodge Nitro as the driver waited in line for inspection. CBP officers escorted both driver and vehicle for further examination.
During an intensive inspection of the vehicle, CBP officers found 20 wrapped packages of methamphetamine concealed inside a non-factory roof compartment. The methamphetamine weighed about 65 pounds, with a street value of approximately $715,000.
CBP officers arrested the driver, a 29-year-old male U.S. citizen and resident of Los Angeles, for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt.
In all three incidents, CBP seized the narcotics and vehicles and turned the drivers over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. The drivers were transported to the Imperial County Jail where they await arraignment.
CBP placed an immigration hold on the Mexican citizens to initiate removal from the U.S. at the conclusion of their criminal proceedings.