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CBP Catches Homicide Fugitive, Liquid Meth in Gas Tank, Person Hidden in Spare Tire Compartment

Release Date: 
May 20, 2013

SAN DIEGO, CALIF.—U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the San Diego area border crossings this weekend caught a fugitive with an active warrant for homicide, stopped a person attempting to enter the country illegally by hiding in the spare tire compartment of a vehicle, and found liquid methamphetamine hidden in the gas tank of a pickup truck.

At about 9:30 p.m. on Friday, 49-year-old Mexican citizen Pedro Garcia-Hernandez arrived at the San Ysidro port of entry on foot, and presented his legal permanent resident card to a CBP officer. The officer ran a routine query of law enforcement databases and discovered an active, no-bail felony warrant for Garcia-Hernandez's arrest for homicide, issued at the request of the Harris County Sheriff's Office in Houston. CBP officers used fingerprints to confirm his identity, and took Garcia-Hernandez into custody; he was booked into the San Diego County Jail.

Later the same evening, at about 9:45 p.m., a 51-year-old male U.S. citizen, and resident of San Diego, arrived at the San Ysidro port of entry driving a 1995 Ford Explorer. The CBP officer performing his inspection noticed that the driver appeared nervous, and discovered modifications to the rear cargo area of the vehicle near the spare tire. CBP officers discovered a 21-year-old male Mexican citizen, hiding in a compartment underneath the rear cargo area of the SUV, who was not legally allowed to enter the United States. The driver was booked into the Metropolitan Correctional Center and will face criminal charges. The person hiding in the car will serve as a material witness before being returned to Mexico. CBP officers seized the vehicle.

At about 8:45 p.m. on Saturday, a 42-year-old male Mexican citizen with a border crossing card arrived at the Otay Mesa port of entry driving a 2002 GMC Sierra 1500. A CBP officer with a human/narcotic detector dog screened the pickup truck as it was waiting in the line of traffic at the border crossing, and the canine alerted. CBP officers pulled the car and driver out of line, and ran the vehicle through the Z-Portal, an imaging system, where a CBP officer noticed an anomaly with the gas tank. A CBP officer used a scope to look inside the gas tank and noted anomalies with the appearance of the liquids in the tank. CBP officers found 185 pounds of liquid inside the gas tank, which tested positive for methamphetamine. Lab analysis is still pending as to how much of content from the tank was liquid methamphetamine and how much was gasoline. CBP officers seized the vehicle and liquid from the gas tank, and turned the driver over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents from Homeland Security Investigations. The driver was booked into the Metropolitan Correctional Center to face charges.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017