CBP Officers At Southern California Ports Seize Nearly $1Million Worth Of Hard Narcotics Over Weekend
IMPERIAL VALLEY, CALIF.—U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Andrade and Calexico ports of entry made four significant hard narcotics seizures worth close to a million dollars over the weekend.
The first seizure occurred on Saturday, March 3rd, at about 8:30 a.m. at the Calexico downtown port of entry, when officers with the port's Anti-Terrorism Contraband Enforcement Team (A-TCET) targeted a 2000 Burgundy Saturn for inspection. A canine team screened the vehicle and the detector dog alerted. Both vehicle and driver were escorted to the secondary inspection area for further examination.
During the intensive inspection, officers used x-ray equipment to screen the vehicle and discovered 12-wrapped packages of cocaine concealed inside the vehicle's doors and dashboard. The weight of the narcotic was 29 pounds, with a street value of approximately $261,000.
The driver, a 24-year-old male U.S. citizen and resident of Heber, California, was arrested for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt.
The second seizure occurred two hours later, also at the downtown port, when A-TCET officers conducting vehicle inspections targeted a white 2005 Honda CR-V as the husband and wife waited in line for inspection. During the interview, the A-TCET officer detected signs of nervousness being displayed by the husband and referred the couple and vehicle for further examination.
During the intensive inspection a detector dog screened the vehicle and alerted to the undercarriage. Officers searched the area and discovered 14 wrapped packages of cocaine concealed inside a specially built compartment in the floor board area underneath the rear passenger seats. The weight of the narcotic was 36 pounds, with a street value of approximately $324,000.
The couple, 27-year-old male and 26-year-old female U.S. citizens and residents of Calexico, California, was arrested for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt.
The third seizure occurred approximately three hours later at the Calexico East port of entry when a 25-year-old Mexicali man driving a white 1989 Mazda B2500 was referred for further examination.
A canine team was screening vehicles when the detector dog alerted to the front of the Mazda. CBP officers searched the engine and used of x-ray equipment discovering two wrapped packages of heroin concealed inside a non-factory compartment inside the vehicle's battery. The weight of the packages was five pounds, with a street value of approximately $85,000.
CBP officers arrested the driver, a Mexican citizen, for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt.
The fourth seizure occurred at about 2:30 p.m. at the Andrade Port of Entry when a CBP officer conducting inspections of vehicles and travelers escorted a 44-year-old female and a 39-year-old male in a grey 2006 Nissan Truck for further examination.
During the secondary inspection, the officer detected anomalies to the tailgate of the truck and requested canine assistance. The canine alerted to the rear of the truck. CBP officers searched the truck and discovered 19 wrapped packages of crystal methamphetamine concealed inside the truck's tailgate. The weight of the narcotic was 26 pounds with a street value of approximately $286,000.
The driver and passenger, U.S. citizens and residents of Umatilla, Oregon and Tracy, California, were arrested for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt.
The violators were all turned over to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents for further investigation. They were later transported to the Imperial County Jail where they await arraignment.
CBP officers in all four incidents 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.