CBP Officers Seize 1,700 Pounds of Drugs This Holiday Weekend
SAN DIEGO – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the ports of entry in the San Diego and Imperial Valley counties over the holiday weekend intercepted 1,700 pounds of drugs, valued over $9.9 million, and captured 22 fugitives.
From Friday, Aug. 30, through Monday, Sept. 2, CBP officers intercepted 1,266 pounds of methamphetamine, 291 pounds of cocaine, 93 pounds of heroin, 34 pounds of fentanyl and 16 pounds of marijuana.
CBP officers discovered the narcotics hidden in different vehicles at different border crossings. Packages of drugs were hidden in various locations throughout the vehicles such as the floor, spare tire, rocker panels, gas tank and quarter panels.
During the same time period, 22 fugitives were arrested for various charges that included aggravated assault, kidnapping, robbery, larceny and sex offense.
“CBP officers work tirelessly, through extreme weather and holidays to safeguard America,” said Pete Flores, Director of Field Operations for CBP in San Diego. “CBP officers work in a 24 hour environment as threats persist; they are always vigilant to combat dangerous contraband and people.”
Significant interceptions are listed below.
On Aug. 31, at about 3:15 p.m., a 51-year-old male Mexican citizen and visa holder arrived at the San Ysidro port of entry driving a 2000 Ford Focus. A CBP officer and his canine were screening vehicles when the dog alerted to the vehicle’s engine. CBP officers referred the vehicle and driver for further examination. Officers conducted a more in-depth examination of the engine area and noticed some discrepancies with the battery. After searching the area, CBP officers removed five packages of fentanyl from the battery, weighing 12 pounds. The fentanyl carries an estimated street value of $360,000.
The same day, at about 4:25 p.m., an 18-year-old male Mexican citizen and visa holder arrived at the Otay Mesa port of entry driving a Mazda 3. A CBP officer and his canine were screening vehicles when the dog alerted to the vehicle. CBP officers referred the vehicle and occupant for further examination. Officers conducted a more in-depth examination utilizing the port’s imaging system, which revealed anomalies concealed within the vehicle’s doors. CBP officers removed nine packages of fentanyl, 13 packages of methamphetamine and four packages of heroin. The narcotics carry an estimated street value of almost $807,000.
“It is only through the labor and vigilance of our officers and their enthusiasm and determination to protect the homeland that we see such enormous enforcement results year after year,” said Division Director, David Salazar.
Both drivers in these two incidents were turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigation agents for further processing and were later transported to the Metropolitan Correctional Center where they currently await arraignment.
CBP officers seized the vehicles and narcotics.
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 official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.