Tecate, Calif. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Tecate port of entry Thursday stopped a mom from Campo, Calif., with 50 pounds of cocaine in her spare tire and her four kids in the car.
At about 8 a.m., the 33-year-old female U.S. citizen drove her 2004 Chevy Trailblazer to the border crossing with her four children with her in the car: her 8-year-old daughter, her 9-year-old son, her 12-year-old son, and her 18-year-old daughter.
A CBP officer roving with a narcotic detector dog through the lanes of traffic waiting in line at the border crossing screened the vehicle. The canine alerted to the spare tire, bolted underneath the sport utility vehicle.
Another CBP officer took a reading of the tire's density, and confirmed that there were anomalies with the spare tire.
CBP officers escorted the vehicle and occupants aside for further inspection. A CBP officer cut open the spare tire, and discovered 14 packages wrapped in duct tape hidden inside. The packages contained about 50 pounds of cocaine, worth an estimated $500,000.
CBP officers seized the vehicle and narcotics, and turned the driver over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. She was booked in the San Diego Metropolitan Correction Center. The 18-year-old daughter was turned over to ICE agents and released. The three younger children were turned over to Child Protective Services.
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.