CALEXICO, CALIF.—U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Calexico East port of entry seized 37 pounds of cocaine and arrested the driver, a 28-year-old Mexicali man for the alleged smuggling attempt.
The seizure occurred at about 8:40 a.m. on Tuesday, February 19, when a CBP officer conducting inspections of vehicles and travelers referred the driver for further examination after the officer noticed the driver was nervous.
During the intensive examination, x-ray equipment and a canine team were utilized on the red 1999 Jeep Cherokee that led officers to discover 15 wrapped packages of cocaine concealed inside the vehicle's quarter panels. The narcotic has a street value of approximately $444,000.
The driver was turned over to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations agents for further processing. The subject was later transported to the Imperial County Jail where he currently awaits arraignment.
CBP placed an immigration hold on the Mexican citizen to initiate removal from the United States at the conclusion of his criminal proceedings. CBP also seized the narcotic and vehicle.
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.