WINTERHAVEN, Calif. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Andrade port of entry Saturday found 50 pounds of cocaine hidden in the car of a family with three kids.
“There is no profile of what a potential smuggler looks like,” said Andrade Port Director, David Sarrasin. “We find narcotics in all kinds of vehicles, and unfortunately all types of travelers.”
The incident occurred shortly after 8 a.m. on April 25, when the driver, 42-year-old man, his 38-year-old female passenger, and their three minor children entered the Andrade port driving a 2006 Ford Fusion sedan. A CBP officer referred the vehicle and occupants, all Mexican citizens, for further inspection.
During an intensive search, officers discovered 22 wrapped packages inside hidden compartments built into the sedan’s rocker panels. The packages were extracted from the vehicle and field-tested positive as cocaine.
The cocaine yielded a total weight of approximately 51 pounds, with an estimated street value of about $670,000.
The driver was arrested and turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations agents for further processing and was later transported to the Imperial County Jail to await arraignment. The female passenger and her minor children were released and returned to Mexico.
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.