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CBP Finds Woman in Wall of Van and More Than 1,000 Pounds of Narcotics Over Weekend

Release Date: 
March 5, 2012

SAN DIEGO—U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at ports of entry along the California border with Mexico over the weekend stopped numerous narcotic and human smuggling attempts, including find a woman hidden in the wall of a van.


Individual hidden in sidewall of vehicle.


CBP officers intercepted more than 1,110 pounds of marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin valued at almost $5.9 million from Friday, March 2 through Sunday, March 4. They also stopped 12 cases of alien smuggling and processed them for federal prosecution.

On Friday, March 2 at about 11:30 p.m. at the San Ysidro port of entry, CBP officers encountered a 43-year-old male U.S. citizen and resident of Vista, Calif., driving a 1993 Dodge Caravan. During the inspection the CBP officer noted that the driver's side quarter panel felt and sounded unusual when tapped, and referred the car and driver for a more intensive inspection.

CBP officers removed the plastic panel covering the side wall of the vehicle and discovered a woman hiding inside. CBP officers determined that the woman is a Mexican national who was unable to legally enter the United States.

CBP officers paroled the woman into the U.S. to serve as a material witness to the incident before she is returned to Mexico. The driver was booked into the Metropolitan Correctional Center and will face criminal charges. CBP officers seized the car.

Also on Friday, March 2 just before midnight at the Otay Mesa port of entry, CBP officers encountered a 54-year-old male U.S. citizen who entered the port as a pedestrian with a large piece of luggage. CBP officers noticed an anomaly with the bag and when they searched it, found a black wrapped package. The package contained 5 pounds of heroin. The man was arrested and transported to the Metropolitan Correctional Center.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017