CALEXICO, Calif. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Calexico downtown port of entry foiled attempts to smuggle heroin across the border in a suitcase and under the gas tank of a motorcycle.
“The tenacity and experience of our frontline officers directly resulted in the seizures of an extremely dangerous drug,” said David Salazar, acting Port Director for the Calexico ports of entry. “These arrests illustrate how CBP officers blend their training and skills with non-intrusive inspection technologies to successfully intercept narcotics before they enter our communities.”
The first incident occurred at about 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 20, when a CBP officer encountered a 20-year-old male U.S. citizen after he arrived at the downtown port’s pedestrian inspection facility. The officer noticed the man, who was traveling with a suitcase, appeared nervous and escorted him for additional review.
While in a secure area, officers searched the contents of the man’s suitcase and discovered two tape-wrapped packages hidden behind an inner lining.
The contents of the two packages field-tested positive as heroin, yielding a total weight of five pounds, and worth approximately $45,000.
The second incident occurred shortly after 4 p.m. on April 21, when a 23-year-old male Mexican citizen arrived at the downtown port riding a 2002 Honda CBR600 motorcycle. A CBP officer referred the man and his motorcycle aside for a more intensive inspection.
During the inspection of the motorcycle, officers utilized the port’s imaging system and detected anomalies under the gas tank. Officers continued searching the area and discovered two wrapped bundles of heroin stashed in the gas tank’s housing.
More than four pounds of heroin was extracted from the motorcycle, worth an estimated street value of $38,000.
The man transporting the suitcase, a resident of Glendale, Arizona, and the motorcyclist, a resident of Mexicali, were arrested by CBP officers and turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations agents for further processing. Both men were eventually booked into the Imperial County Jail to face federal charges.
CBP seized the 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.