San Diego - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the San Ysidro and Otay Mesa ports of entry this weekend were busy intercepting drugs hidden in various compartments.
CBP officers at both ports seized 1,307 pounds of marijuana in 13 different smuggling attempts from Friday 6 a.m. to Monday 6 a.m. The drugs were estimated to have a street value of $653,500 dollars.
The drugs were hidden in a myriad of compartments, and in all types of vehicles; they were hidden in gas tanks, quarter panels, vehicle seats, spare tires, roof compartments, and dash compartments.
A significant seizure occurred on Sunday at approximately 7:00 a.m., after a 58-year-old Mexican citizen arrived at the Otay Mesa port of entry driving a 1999 Toyota pickup. The officer at the booth noticed anomalies and referred the vehicle and driver for further inspection.
During the secondary inspection a narcotic detector dog screened the vehicle and alerted to the scent of narcotics emanating from the pickup. CBP officers discovered and extracted 35 packages of marijuana hidden in the engine compartment area and spare tire of the vehicle. The total weight of the marijuana was 137 pounds, with an approximate street value of $68,500.
The driver was arrested and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents for further processing. CBP placed an immigration hold on the subject to initiate removal from the U.S. at the conclusion of his criminal proceeding.
In addition CBP officers at both border stations apprehended 15 wanted felons with warrants for their arrest for crimes such as homicide, theft and assault. All wanted individuals were turned over to their respective agencies.
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.