CBP Officers Seize More Than $7 Million of Narcotics Over Weekend in San Diego/Imperial Valley
San Diego, Calif. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at ports of entry along the California/Mexico border over the weekend seized approximately 1,109 pounds of narcotics valued at more than $7 million.
CBP officers at the six land ports of entry intercepted 25 smuggling attempts involving marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine, and heroin. The drugs were hidden in various areas of the vehicles such as in the gas tank, in the bumpers, quarter panels and the tires.
Several are highlighted below.
A significant cocaine seizure occurred on Friday, at about 2 p.m. at the San Ysidro port of entry a when a CBP officer and detector dog was screening vehicles and the canine alerted to a white Nissan Micra. Officers escorted the driver, a 38-year-old male citizen of Mexico, and the vehicle for a more in-depth investigation.
CBP officers ran the vehicle though the port's imaging system which showed anomalies underneath the front seats. Officers subsequently extracted 32 packages of cocaine from a non-factory floor compartment beneath the front seats, weighing 82 pounds with a street value of $902,000.
Also on Friday at the Otay Mesa passenger port of entry, CBP officers encountered a 20-year-old male citizen of the U.S. driving a 2011 Chevrolet Silverado. The CBP officer referred the driver, passenger, and vehicle for a more in-depth inspection.
Officers searched the vehicle and noticed anomalies with the tires. They found 24 packages of marijuana in all four tires with a total weight of 140 pounds and a street value of $210,000.
On Saturday, Nov. 17, at about 10:40 a.m. at the Calexico downtown port of entry, a CBP officer referred a 31-year-old female Mexican citizen after detecting anomalies to the interior of the 2002 Ford Focus she was driving.
Officers utilized a canine team to screen the vehicle and the detector dog alerted to the interior. An intensive search of the area led officers to the discovery of seven wrapped packages of methamphetamine concealed inside a non-factory compartment in the dashboard. The weight of the narcotic was eight pounds with an estimated street value of approximately $120,000.
CBP officers arrested the driver, a lawful permanent resident of the U.S.
On Sunday, Nov. 18, at the Calexico downtown port at about 3 p.m. a canine team conducting inspections of travelers at the pedestrian inspection area escorted a 19-year-old female U.S. citizen for further examination after the detector dog alerted to her person.
During the examination, officers removed two wrapped packages of heroin strapped to the woman's calves. The weight of the narcotics was three pounds with a street value of approximately $36,000.
The traveler, a resident of Calexico, was arrested for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt.
A large seizure occurred five hours later that same day at the Andrade port of entry when a CBP officer conducting inspections of vehicles and travelers escorted an 18-year-old male U.S. citizen for further examination.
An intensive search that included a canine screening of the silver 2005 Toyota Scion resulted in the discovery of 15 wrapped packages of cocaine, concealed inside the quarter panels of the vehicle. The weight of the narcotic was 38 pounds with a street value of approximately $456,000.
The driver, a resident of Yuma, Arizona, was arrested for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt.
In all five incidents, the drivers were transported to local jail facilities where they await arraignment.
CBP 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.