San Diego - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers yesterday discovered marijuana hidden in lawn mowers and later arrested a SENTRI participant with marijuana allegedly found in his vehicle.
Tuesday morning at about 3 a.m., a CBP officer encountered a 21-year-old male Mexican citizen when he entered the San Ysidro border station driving a 1995 Dodge Dakota with several gardening tools in the bed of the truck. The officer developed information that prompted him to escort the man and vehicle to the secondary area for further inspection.
While in the secondary area, a CBP detector dog screening vehicles alerted to the front area of the Dakota. Officers searched the vehicle and discovered a total of 25 wrapped packages of marijuana, weighing 91 pounds inside two lawn mowers that had their blades removed and marijuana stuffed into place.
The man, a resident of San Ysidro, was arrested was booked into the San Diego County jail. CBP seized the vehicle and narcotic.
Later that morning at the nearby Otay Mesa passenger port, officers encountered a 25-year-old SENTRI member waiting to enter the country through a designated SENTRI vehicle lane. As the male U.S. citizen driving a 2008 Ford F-150 pickup truck waited in line, a CBP detector dog alerted to the pickup at about 11:30 a.m.
Officers escorted the man and vehicle to the secondary area for an intensive examination. With the use of X-ray technology, officers discovered 54 packages of marijuana totaling 189 pounds in the front and rear seats, in all three doors, cargo bed, tire well, and spare tire.
The man was arrested and transported to the Metropolitan Correctional Center. His SENTRI privileges were revoked. CBP seized the truck and marijuana.
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.