CBP Officers Seize More than $2M of Narcotics at Imperial Valley Ports
Imperial Valley, Calif. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Imperial Valley ports of entry seized more than $2 million dollars worth of narcotics within a 72-hour period.
The three unrelated incidents took place at the Andrade and Calexico ports of entry where CBP officers prevented 192 pounds of marijuana, 154 pounds of cocaine and 34 pounds of black tar heroin from entering the U.S.
At about 9:15 a.m. on April 5, officers at the Andrade port of entry arrested a 30-year-old male U.S. citizen after he attempted to smuggle 192 pounds of marijuana concealed inside a white 2005 Chevy pickup truck.
After a CBP officer referred the driver and vehicle to secondary for further examination, a canine and x-ray imaging system were utilized, revealing eight large bales of marijuana hidden inside the auxiliary fuel tank located on the bed of the truck. The marijuana has a street value of approximately $87,060.
The driver, a resident of Calexico, Calif., was turned over to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents for further processing.
The second seizure occurred the following day at about 3:30 p.m., at the Calexico downtown port when a CBP officer conducting inspections of vehicles and travelers detected anomalies to the roof of a white 2007 Dodge Nitro, and escorted the vehicle and occupants for further examination.
An intensive inspection of the vehicle that included a canine screening and use of a density detector led officers to the discovery of 22 wrapped packages of cocaine concealed inside a non-factory compartment in the roof of the vehicle. The weight of the cocaine was 104 pounds with a street value of approximately $936,000.
The driver, a 38-year-old female U.S. citizen and resident of Las Vegas, and the passenger, a 40-year-old male U.S. citizen and resident of Mexicali, Calif., were arrested for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt and turned over to the custody of ICE agents for further processing.
The third incident occurred on April 7 at about 6 a.m. at the Calexico downtown port when an officer noticed irregularities with a spare tire of a 2001 Toyota pickup truck. CBP officers utilized the port's x-ray imaging system and a canine resulting in the discovery of 31 wrapped packages of cocaine and black tar heroin concealed inside the tire. The weight of the narcotics was 84 pounds with a street value of approximately $1,028,000.
The driver, a 48-year-old male U.S. citizen and resident of Mexicali, was arrested and turned over to the custody of ICE agents for further processing.
All individuals involved in the narcotic smuggling attempts were transported to the Imperial County Jail where they currently await arraignment.
In all three incidents, CBP officers seized the narcotics and vehicles.
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.