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.
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.