SAN DIEGO – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the ports of entry in the San Diego and Imperial Valley counties seized over 1,800 pounds of narcotics worth $3.2 million this weekend.
From Friday, Oct. 20, through Monday, Oct. 23, CBP officers intercepted 383 pounds of methamphetamine, 51 pounds of cocaine, 54 pounds of heroin and 1,340 pounds of marijuana.
CBP officers discovered the narcotics in various locations throughout the vehicles such as the floor, spare tire well, bumpers, tractor-trailer, seats and quarter panels.
“CBP officers face many challenges on a daily basis,” said Pete Flores, Director of Field Operations for CBP in San Diego. “The interceptions this weekend showcase CBP’s adaptability to an ever-changing smuggling trade.”
Significant interceptions are listed below.
The first incident occurred at about 11:05 a.m., on Friday, Oct. 20, at the Calexico East port cargo facility when a CBP officer encountered a tractor with an empty trailer as it entered the cargo facility. The officer referred the conveyance for a more in-depth examination.
Officers used the port’s imaging system and observed anomalies within the front wall of the empty trailer. A canine team was dispatched to search the trailer and the detector dog alerted to the wall.
CBP officers continue to search the conveyance and discovered 54 large wrapped packages of marijuana stacked inside a non-factory compartment in the front wall of the empty trailer.
Officers probed a package; the substance inside field-tested positive for marijuana. The total weight of the narcotics was 1,116 pounds with a street value of approximately $446,400.
The driver, a 37-year-old male Mexican citizen and resident of Mexicali, Baja California, was arrested and turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigation agents for further investigation.
The second incident occurred nine hours later on the same day at the Andrade port of entry when CBP officers encountered two 18-year-old male and female U.S. citizens in a silver Nissan Armada. During the inspection at the booth, the officer detected anomalies to the gas tank and referred the occupants and vehicle for a more in-depth examination.
CBP officers conducted an intensive inspection on the vehicle and discovered 21 wrapped packages of methamphetamine, three packages of cocaine, and two packages of heroin hidden inside the gas tank.
The weight of the narcotics was 46 pounds of methamphetamine, eight pounds of cocaine, and four pounds of heroin with a combined estimated street value of $ 223,960.
The driver and passenger, residents of Phoenix, Arizona, were arrested for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt.
Both occupants were turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigation agents for further processing.
CBP officers seized all of the vehicles.
CBP officers at the border crossings in Southern California routinely stop illegal activity, while processing millions of legitimate travelers into the United States.