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CBP Officers at Tecate, Calif. Discover More Than $150,000 of Heroin Hidden in Fire Extinguishers

Release Date: 
July 10, 2013


A CBP officer removes a package of heroin that was hidden inside a fire extinguisher.

CBP officers at the Tecate port of entry discovered two fire extinguishers hidden inside a Ford 150 truck that held almost 11 pounds of heroin valued at $150,000.

TECATE, CALIF.—U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Tecate, Calif. port of entry near San Diego arrested a man after they discovered more than 10 pounds of heroin stuffed inside two portable fire extinguishers.

CBP officers encountered a 38-year-old male U.S. citizen driving a Ford F-150 pickup truck as he arrived at the Tecate port from Mexico on Friday at about 10 a.m. An officer directed the driver to secondary for further inspection.

A CBP officer and detector dog was summoned to screen the truck which produced a positive alert to a fire extinguisher inside a tool box in the truck's bed. An officer x-rayed the extinguisher which detected internal anomalies. The officer cut off the top of the unpressurized fire extinguisher and discovered a package containing almost six pounds of heroin stuffed inside.

Officers continued with the truck's examination and discovered a bag behind the front driver's seat that contained another fire extinguisher. That extinguisher contained a package of more than 5 pounds of heroin.

CBP officers subsequently extracted from the fire extinguishers a total of two wrapped packages of heroin that had a combined weight of almost 11 pounds with an estimated street value of about $150,000.

The driver was arrested and transported to the Metropolitan Correctional Center to await arraignment in federal court for the alleged smuggling attempt. CBP seized the truck and narcotics.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017