SAN DIEGO — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at ports of entry along the California/Mexico border over the weekend seized a total of about 328 pounds of narcotics, valued at approximately $2 million.
CBP officers at the six land ports of entry stopped attempts to smuggle heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine concealed in various areas of vehicles such as gas tanks, rocker panels inside a dashboard, and under a motorcycle seat.
Of the 15 alleged narcotic smuggling attempts, two are highlighted below:
On Friday, Mar. 21, at about 11:40 a.m., an 18-year-old male Mexican citizen entered the San Ysidro port of entry driving a 2002 Jaguar X-Type sedan. A CBP officer targeted the vehicle as the driver waited in line for inspection. Officers searched the vehicle and discovered wrapped bundles hidden inside a factory compartment in the trunk. The vehicle and driver were escorted for further examination.
Officers ultimately removed 20 packages that field tested positive for methamphetamine from the compartment inside the trunk of the vehicle. The narcotics yielded a total weight of almost 19 pounds, with an estimated street value of about $190,000.
The driver, a resident of Tijuana, Baja California, was arrested and turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents for further processing.
The second incident occurred shortly after 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, Mar. 23, when a 29-year-old female U.S. citizen arrived at the Otay Mesa port of entry driving a red 2003 Ford Explorer. The CBP officer conducting inspections detected anomalies with the SUV’s gas tank and escorted the vehicle and driver for further investigation.
During an intensive search, officers utilized a fiber-optic scope to examine the contents of the vehicle’s gas tank, resulting in the discovery of 16 wrapped packages concealed inside. More than 42 pounds of what field tested positive as methamphetamine was removed from the gas tank, with an estimated value of $420,000.
The driver, a resident of Los Angeles, was arrested and turned over to the custody of HSI agents for further processing.
Both drivers were booked into the Metropolitan Correctional Center to await arraignment.
CBP seized the vehicles and narcotics.
CBP officers also captured 11 other individuals wanted on outstanding felony warrants for such crimes as dangerous drugs, parole violations, and domestic violence.
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.