Tecate, Calif., – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers assigned to the Tecate Cargo Facility in San Diego found over $4 million worth of cocaine concealed within a shipment of decorative stone.
On January 11, at approximately 10:23 p.m., CBP officers encountered a 36- year-old driver of a tractor trailer with a shipment manifested as decorative stone. During the inspection, a CBP officer referred the driver along with the tractor trailer for a more intensive examination.
During the exam, CBP officers randomly offloaded one of the commodities within the trailer and observed an anomaly on one of the stones. A CBP K-9 team screened the shipment and received a positive alert from the detector dog. Officers discovered 57 cellophane wrapped packages of cocaine. The packages of cocaine were concealed within a plaster-like material designed to appear like stones.
CBP officers extracted approximately 256 pounds of cocaine worth an estimated street value of about $4.1 million.
“It is evident from the immense efforts to conceal these narcotics that our officers are effective in the jobs that they do,” said Jennifer De La O, CBP Director of Field Operations in San Diego. “The men and women of CBP are relentlessly working together to stop the negative impacts that narcotics have in the communities.”
CBP officers seized the narcotics, tractor, and trailer.
The driver was detained for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt. CBP officers turned the driver, a Mexican citizen, over to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for further disposition.
CBP officers at the border crossing in Southern California stop illegal activity while processing millions of legitimate travelers into the United States. Those statistics can be found here: CBP-enforcement-statistics.
Follow the Director of CBP’s San Diego Field Office on Twitter at @DFOSanDiegoCA for breaking news, current events, human interest stories and photos.