CBP Officers at Imperial Valley Ports Seize Narcotics and Firearms over Weekend
IMPERIAL VALLEY, CALIF.—U.S. Customs and Border Protection(CBP) at the Calexico and Andrade ports of entry made four significant seizures over the weekend involving hard narcotics, firearms and ammunition.
The first seizure occurred on Friday, March 1, at about 8:00 a.m. at the Andrade port of entry, when a CBP officer conducting inspections of vehicles and travelers escorted a 51-year-old male Mexican citizen for further examination after detecting anomalies in the vehicle he was driving.
At the secondary inspection area, CBP officers conducted an examination on the white 1995 Chevy S-10 pick-up truck that included a canine screening. The detector dog alerted to the vehicle. An intensive search of the vehicle led officers to the discovery of 25 wrapped packages of cocaine concealed inside two non-factory compartments within the vehicle's tank. The weight of the narcotic was 63 pounds with a street value of approximately $756,000.
The driver, a lawful permanent resident of San Luis, Arizona, was arrested for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt.
The second seizure occurred nine and a half hours later at the Calexico downtown port of entry, when officers with the port's Anti-Terrorism Contraband Enforcement Team (A-TCET) targeted a grey 2000 Toyota Tundra for inspection. During the interview, officers detected anomalies and referred the driver for further examination.
During the intensive inspection a detector dog screened the vehicle and the dog alerted to the undercarriage. Officers searched the area and discovered six wrapped packages of hard narcotics, one package of methamphetamine and five packages of heroin inside the vehicle's rear differential. The combined weight of the narcotics was 14 pounds with a street value of approximately $186,000.
The driver, a 20-year-old male U.S. citizen and resident of Earlimart, California, was arrested for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt.
The third seizure occurred yesterday, Sunday, March 3, at about 10:40 a.m. at the Andrade port of entry, when officers conducting outbound inspections referred a white 2002 Dodge pick-up truck for further examination.
The driver, a 32-year-old male U.S. citizen and resident of Chandler, Arizona, did not declare to officers that he was exporting firearms and ammunition.
Officers used a currency and firearms detector dog to screen the vehicle which alerted to the inside of the truck. Further examination of the vehicle led officers to the discovery of four assault rifles and 998 rounds of ammunition concealed inside a specially-built compartment in the vehicle's dashboard.
CBP officers arrested the driver and seized the rifles, ammunition and vehicle.
The fourth seizure occurred five hours later at the Calexico downtown port when a CBP officer conducting inspections of vehicles and travelers referred an 18-year-old male U.S. citizen driving a white 2008 Ford Fusion for further examination.
During the secondary inspection, the officer detected abnormalities to the back rest of the rear seats. A canine team was utilized to screen the vehicle and the detector dog alerted. Subsequent search of the vehicle led officers to the discovery of four wrapped packages of methamphetamine concealed inside the vehicle's rear seats. The weight of the narcotic was six pounds with a street value of approximately $90,000.
The driver, a resident of Calexico, was arrested for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt.
The drivers were all turned over to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents for further processing and were transported to the Imperial County Jail.
CBP officers in all four incidents seized the narcotics, firearms, ammunitions and vehicles.
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.