CBP Officers Seize More Than $1 Million Worth of Cocaine and Methamphetamine over Weekend
Imperial Valley, Calif., — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the local ports of entry over the weekend seized a total of about $1.1 million worth of cocaine and methamphetamine in four separate incidents.
The first incident occurred at about 10 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 19, when a 42-year-old male U.S. citizen entered the downtown port of entry driving a 2009 Saturn Vue SUV. A CBP officer searched the vehicle and discovered anomalies within four boxes of trash bags stored in the rear cargo area. The vehicle and driver, a resident of Calexico, were referred for further examination.
During the inspection, a CBP narcotics detector dog alerted to the rear cargo area of the vehicle, leading officers to the discovery of four wrapped bundles of cocaine concealed inside the trash bag boxes.
The cocaine yielded a total weight of about 50 pounds, with an estimated street value of $650,000.
The second incident occurred shortly after 2 p.m., when a 27-year-old male U.S. citizen entered the Andrade port of entry driving a 2005 Ford Focus. A CBP officer referred the driver, a resident of Calexico, and vehicle for a more in-depth inspection.
A CBP canine team screened the Focus and the detector dog alerted to the area around the vehicle’s driver-side door. Officers continued their search and ultimately discovered 12 wrapped packages concealed inside the vehicle’s quarter panel.
Once extracted, the packages field-tested positive as methamphetamine, weighing more than 14 pounds, with a street value of approximately $91,000.
Later in the afternoon, at about 4:30 p.m., CBP officers at the Calexico downtown port of entry encountered a 30-year-old U.S. citizen driver and her four children after they entered the facility in a 1997 Pontiac Montana minivan.
Officers utilized the port’s imaging system and discovered anomalies within the minivan’s dash area. After an intensive search of the vehicle, the officers discovered 26 wrapped packages of methamphetamine stashed inside a hidden compartment built into the vehicle’s dashboard.
The methamphetamine yielded a total weight of about 29 pounds, with an estimated street value of $189,000.
The final incident occurred at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 20, when a 34-year-old male Mexican citizen entered the Calexico downtown port driving a 2004 Volkswagen Beetle. A CBP officer referred the driver, a resident of Mexicali, and vehicle for a more in-depth inspection.
During the inspection, a CBP narcotics detector dog alerted to the vehicle’s dashboard, leading officers to the discovery of eight wrapped bundles of methamphetamine concealed inside.
A total of almost 35 pounds of methamphetamine was extracted from the vehicle’s dashboard, and is valued at approximately $227,500.
In each of the incidents, the drivers were arrested and turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations agents for further processing and were transported to the Imperial County Jail to await arraignment.
CBP seized the vehicles and narcotics.
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.