CBP Officers at Imperial Valley Ports Intercept Three Narcotic Smuggling Attempts worth over $1.2M
IMPERIAL VALLEY, Calif. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Andrade and Calexico West ports of entry intercepted attempts this weekend to smuggle cocaine and methamphetamine valued over $1.2 million.
The first seizure occurred on Friday, April 20, at about 5:07 p.m., at the Andrade port of entry, when a CBP officer encountered an 81-year-old male U.S. citizen driving a gray 2000 Ford Expedition. The officer decided to refer both the driver and vehicle for further examination.
CBP officers conducted an intensive inspection that included the use of a canine unit. After the canine alerted to the vehicle, officers found 91 wrapped packages of methamphetamine hidden in various locations throughout the vehicle’s doors, gas tank, and spare tire. The weight of the narcotic was 108 pounds with a street value of approximately $270,000.
The driver, a resident of Yuma, Arizona, was arrested for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt.
The second seizure occurred the next day, Saturday, April 21, at about 3:20 p.m., at the Andrade port when an officer encountered a 23-year-old male Mexican citizen in a white 2017 Renault Duster. During the inspection, a canine team alerted to the vehicle. Officers escorted both the driver and vehicle to secondary inspection.
During the secondary inspection, officers utilized a canine team and found 35 wrapped packages of methamphetamine and 26 packages of cocaine concealed inside a non-factory compartment in the cargo area of the vehicle.
The weight of the narcotic was 47 pounds of methamphetamine and 69 pounds of cocaine with a combined estimated street value of $892,500.
The driver, a resident of Los Algodones, Baja California, was arrested for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt.
A few hours later, at about 10:07 p.m. at the Calexico West port of entry, a CBP officer encountered a 44-year-old male U.S. citizen driving a 1999 Dodge Dakota. The CBP officer referred the driver and vehicle to the secondary area.
Officers utilized the port’s imaging system and a canine team to search the vehicle. During their inspection, officers discovered 48 wrapped packages of methamphetamine concealed inside the quarter panels of the vehicle. The weight of the narcotic was 54 pounds with a street value of approximately $135,000.
All drivers were turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigation agents for further processing and were later transported to the Imperial County Jail where they currently await arraignment.
CBP seized the narcotics and vehicles.
CBP officers at the border crossings in Southern California routinely stop illegal activity, while processing millions of legitimate travelers into the United States.
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.