San Diego — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at ports of entry along the California/Mexico border over the weekend seized approximately 1,140 pounds of narcotics valued at more than $4.7 million, and apprehended 20 wanted suspects, including two men wanted for attempted murder and kidnapping charges.
CBP officers at the six land ports of entry intercepted 17 attempts to smuggle heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine concealed in various areas of vehicles such as gas tanks, seats, in the floor, and inside a dashboard.
Four enforcement actions that occurred on Sunday, January 26, are highlighted below:
Shortly before 7:00 a.m., Victor Serriteno, a 22-year-old U.S. citizen, entered the San Ysidro port of entry as a pedestrian. A CBP officer queried Serriteno’s information and was alerted that he was wanted by the Solano County Sherriff’s Office on an active felony warrant.
Serriteno was escorted to a secure location where CBP officers ran his fingerprints through the Integrated Automated Fingerprint System (IAFIS) confirming his identity and that he was wanted for attempted murder and assault with a firearm, with bail set at $1.7 million.
Serriteno, a resident of Vacaville, was taken into custody and later transported to the San Diego County Jail.
The second incident occurred at about 12:45 p.m., when CBP officers encountered a 22-year-old male Mexican citizen after he arrived at the Calexico East port of entry driving a 2002 Volkswagen Jetta. The vehicle and driver were referred for a more in-depth examination.
During an intensive inspection, a detector dog alerted to the vehicle, leading officers to the discovery of 18 wrapped packages of methamphetamine concealed inside a compartment built into the wheel well of the vehicle.
The methamphetamine yielded a total weight of more than 19 pounds, with an estimated street value of $390,000.
The driver, a resident of Mexicali, Baja California, was arrested and turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents for further processing.
Later in the afternoon, at around 3:30 p.m., a canine team was screening vehicles as they waited in line for inspection at the San Ysidro port of entry. The team’s detector dog alerted to a 2006 Honda Element SUV, and the vehicle and driver were escorted to a secure area for further review.
While conducting their inspection, CBP officers utilized the port’s imaging system and detected anomalies within the floor of the vehicle. Officers continued searching and ultimately discovered 31 wrapped packages of heroin stored in a hidden compartment built into the vehicle’s floor.
A total of almost 83 pounds of heroin was removed from the vehicle, with an estimated street value of $1.2 million.
The driver, a 21-year-old male Mexican citizen and resident of Tijuana, Baja California, was arrested, turned over to the custody of HSI agents, and transported to the Metropolitan Correctional Center to await arraignment.
The fourth incident also occurred at about 3:30 p.m., when a CBP officer at the Tecate port of entry encountered Sean Long, a 21-year-old U.S. citizen, after he arrived at the port of entry in a vehicle. The officer checked Long’s name against law enforcement databases, and was alerted to a warrant for kidnapping, wanted by the Bernalillo County Sherriff’s Office in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Long was escorted to a secure area, where officers conducted a ten-print query utilizing IAFIS, confirming his identity as well as the active felony warrant, set without bail.
Long, a resident of Murrieta, California, was taken into custody and later transported to the San Diego County Jail to await extradition.
CBP officers also captured 18 other individuals wanted on outstanding felony warrants for such crimes as robbery, dangerous drugs, parole violations, and sexual assault.
CBP seized the vehicles and narcotics.