CBP Officers Seize $4.6 Million in Narcotics, Apprehend Homicide Suspect
SAN DIEGO, CALIF.—U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at ports of entry along the California/Mexico border over the weekend seized more than $4.6 million in narcotics and apprehended a fugitive wanted for homicide.
CBP officers at the six land ports of entry intercepted 21 smuggling attempts involving marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin, totaling 1,753 pounds. The drugs were hidden in various areas of vehicles such as gas tanks, floors, quarter panels and doors.
The first seizure occurred on Dec. 14 at 7:10 a.m., at the Andrade Port of Entry, when a CBP officer conducting inspections of vehicles and travelers referred a 20-year-old male Mexican citizen driving a white 1998 Volkswagen Beetle for examination.
A detector dog alerted to the dashboard area. An intensive search led officers to the discovery of six wrapped packages of methamphetamine concealed inside a non-factory compartment within the dashboard. The narcotic weighed 13 pounds, with a street value of approximately $195,000.
About two hours later at the Tecate Port of Entry, CBP officers encountered a 19-year-old male citizen of Mexico when he entered the border crossing for inspection driving a 2001 Ford Ranger. He was referred for an intensive examination. Officers subsequently discovered 58 packages of marijuana, weighing approximately 36 pounds, with a street value of almost $55,000, in the gas tank of the truck.
The third seizure also occurred on Friday at about 9:45 p.m. at the Otay Mesa border crossing. A 31-year-old male U.S. citizen driving a 1999 BMX was in line waiting to be inspected when a detector dog alerted to the vehicle. The driver and vehicle were escorted for an intensive examination. CBP officers searched the vehicle and found a floor compartment under both front seats that contained four packages of cocaine and 18 packages of methamphetamine. Total combined weight of the narcotics was about 31 pounds, with a street value of almost $510,000.
The fourth seizure occurred on Saturday, at about 6:40 a.m. at the Calexico east Port of Entry when a commercial passenger bus and its driver, a 29-year-old Mexicali man, were referred for further inspection.
During the intensive inspection a canine team screened the bus and the detector dog alerted. CBP officers utilized X-ray equipment to further assist with the inspection which led to the discovery of 13 wrapped packages of cocaine concealed inside the spare tire of the bus. The weight of the narcotic was 121 pounds with a street value of approximately $1,452,000.
On Saturday, at 7 a.m., at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, officers arrested a 23-year-old Tijuana man after they discovered 181 pounds of marijuana in the 1994 Ford F-150 he was driving. CBP officers discovered 19 packages of marijuana behind the driver and passenger bench seat concealed under a blanket and 19 packages in the gas tank, with a street value of almost $272,000.
In all five incidents, the drivers were transported to area detention facilities where they await arraignment.
CBP seized the narcotics and vehicles.
A man wanted by the Potterville Police Department on charges of homicide was detained Sunday afternoon by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Calexico downtown port of entry.
Leonardo Miguel Nacoa, a 26-year-old U.S. citizen who resides in Potterville, was detained at about 3:30 p.m. after he entered the port as a pedestrian from Mexico. CBP officers performed a name check that alerted them that he was the subject an outstanding arrest warrant for murder from the Potterville Police Department.
A 10-fingerprint scan was administered utilizing the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System which confirmed Nacao's identity and the warrant. After confirmation was made, Nacao was placed in the custody of the Calexico Police Department and transported to the Imperial County Jail to await extradition to Potterville.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations is responsible for securing our borders at the ports of entry. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers' primary mission is anti-terrorism; screening all people, vehicles, and goods entering the United States, while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel into and out of the United States. Our mission also includes carrying out traditional border-related responsibilities, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration and trade laws, protecting our nation's food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases.
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.