CALEXICO, Calif. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Calexico downtown port of entry Monday discovered more than $1.3 million worth of cocaine and approximately $47,500 worth of methamphetamine concealed inside a BMW SUV.
The incident occurred shortly after 11:30 a.m. on January 26, when a CBP canine team screening vehicles at the downtown port alerted to a 2009 BMW X3 as the driver waited in line for inspection. Both the vehicle and driver, a 41-year-old male U.S. citizen, were escorted for a more in-depth examination.
During the inspection, officers utilized the port’s imaging system and detected anomalies in the doors and rocker panels of the vehicle. Officers continued searching the vehicle and ultimately discovered 40 wrapped packages hidden in the rear doors, rocker panels, and inside a non-factory compartment built into the SUV’s floor.
Thirty-five of the packages field-tested positive as cocaine and yielded a total weight of more than 105 pounds, and the additional five packages tested positive as methamphetamine, with a weight of more than seven pounds.
The driver, a resident of El Centro, was arrested and turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations agents for further processing. He was later transported to the Imperial County Jail to await arraignment.
CBP seized the vehicle and narcotics.
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.