San Diego - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the border crossings between California and Mexico stopped more than 700 pounds of narcotics from entering the United States and $20,241 in undeclared currency from leaving the country this past weekend.
On Saturday and Sunday, CBP officers seized more than 31 pounds of cocaine, 561 pounds of marijuana, and 136 pounds of methamphetamine after stopping various smuggling attempts at the ports of entry.
In the weekend's largest seizure, CBP officers at the San Ysidro port of entry found more than 250 pounds of marijuana in a hidden compartment in a silver 2006 Dodge Ram. At about 4:45 p.m. on Sunday, a 53-year-old female Mexican citizen drove the pickup truck to the border crossing, with her daughter as a passenger.
During the inspection, a CBP officer found a non-factory compartment along the back wall of the pickup's cabin and called for a CBP officer with a human/narcotic detector dog to screen the vehicle. The canine alerted, and CBP officers referred the vehicle and occupants for a more intensive inspection.
Using an imaging device similar to an X-ray, CBP officers confirmed that there were anomalies with the rear wall of the truck's cabin. CBP officers opened the hidden compartment, and found 38 blue rectangular packages inside. CBP seized the vehicle and narcotics and turned the driver over to U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement agents; she was booked into Las Colinas Detention Facility.
Also on Sunday, at about 10:15 a.m., a CBP officer performing outbound inspections at the San Ysidro port of entry at the pedestrian turnstile into Mexico stopped a 24-year-old male Mexican citizen, as he was about to depart the United States. A CBP officer with a currency/firearm detector dog screened the subject, and the canine alerted.
CBP officers found $10,000 of undeclared currency hidden in each of the subject's boots, at his ankles, in addition to some currency in the bag he was carrying. In total, CBP officers seized $20,241 in undeclared U.S. currency, and turned the man over to ICE agents.
It is a federal offense not to declare currency or monetary instruments totaling more than $10,000 to a CBP officer upon entry to or exit from the United States or to conceal it or split it up with intent to evade reporting requirements. Failure to declare may result in seizure of the currency and arrest.
In addition this weekend, CBP stopped 10 fugitives with active warrants for their arrest, as well as more than 180 immigration law violators. In one incident, CBP stopped a fugitive attempting to enter the United States undetected by using someone else's green card.
At about 8:45 p.m. on Sunday, Gustavo Zendejas-Barbosa, a 47-year-old male Mexican citizen, arrived at the San Ysidro port of entry on foot. He presented the CBP officer with an I-551 permanent resident card, also known as a green card. The CBP officer suspected that the man was an imposter, and referred him for further inspection.
During his inspection, a CBP officer confirmed Zendejas-Barbosa's identity, that he was not the true owner of the green card and, during a routine check of law enforcement databases, found a no-bail, felony warrant for larceny, issued at the request of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Zendejas-Barbosa was paroled into the United States and booked into the San Diego County Jail to await extradition.