Calexico, Calif. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working passenger operations at the Calexico ports over the weekend foiled three narcotic smuggling attempts worth over $200,000, officials announced today.
On Sunday, January 10, at about 10:30 a.m. at the Calexico east port of entry a detector dog alerted to a blue 1988 Volkswagen Jetta as it slowly drove past. The driver, a 41-year-old male Mexican citizen and vehicle were referred for a more in-depth inspection.
The driver was escorted to a private room where a pat down was conducted for concealed weapons and contraband. The pat down resulted in the discovery of two small packages of heroin, concealed inside the driver's shoes, weighing two pounds with a street value of $26,000.
The driver, a resident of Mexicali, was arrested for the smuggling attempt and turned over to the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents for further disposition.
The second seizure occurred later in the day at about 2 p.m. when officers arrested a 21-year-old female U.S. citizen and a 22-year-old male U.S. citizen who allegedly attempted to smuggle 80 pounds of marijuana concealed in a grey 2004 Dodge Dakota pick-up truck.
A canine officer and his detector dog were conducting an enforcement operation when the dog alerted to the Dakota pick-up truck. Officers subsequently discovered 37 wrapped packages of marijuana concealed inside the dashboard with a street value of $72,340.
The driver, a resident of El Monte, Calif., and the passenger, a resident of Los Angeles, were turned over to the custody of ICE agents for further investigation.
The largest seizure occurred on Saturday, January 9, at about 8 am at the Calexico downtown port when CBP officers arrested a 43-year-old male Mexican citizen who allegedly attempted to smuggle 138 pounds of marijuana concealed inside a green 1998 Ford Windstar van.
The driver had been referred to the secondary inspection area for further examination. Closer examination and canine screening of the vehicle resulted in the discovery of 80 wrapped packages of marijuana concealed in the vehicle's dashboard and passenger door. The street value of the marijuana is $125,240.
The driver, a permanent resident of Calexico, was turned over to the custody of ICE agents for further disposition.
CBP placed an immigration hold on the Mexican citizens to initiate possible removal from the United States at the conclusion of their criminal proceedings.
In all three incidents, CBP seized the narcotics and vehicles.
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.