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  4. CBP Officers Thwart Two Attempts to Smuggle 182 Pounds of Hard Narcotics into the Imperial Valley

CBP Officers Thwart Two Attempts to Smuggle 182 Pounds of Hard Narcotics into the Imperial Valley

Release Date
Mon, 03/18/2019

Officers find heroin and meth stashed in pickup trucks.

IMPERIAL VALLEY, Calif. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Andrade and Calexico East ports of entry arrested three Arizona residents on Friday for their alleged involvement in separate attempts to smuggle 182 total pounds of narcotics into the United States.

“These seizures serve to underscore our commitment to detecting and intercepting attempts to smuggle illegal narcotics into the country,” said Area Port Director David Salazar. “The keen observational skills and inspectional techniques that played a key role in these discoveries are indicative of the dedication and hard work of CBP officers in Andrade and Calexico, and I commend them for their vigilance.”

The first incident occurred at the Andrade port of entry on March 16, when a CBP officer encountered a 31-year-old woman and 30-year-old man who entered the border crossing in a Toyota Tacoma. The CBP officer referred the driver and passenger for a more in-depth examination.

During the examination, a CBP canine team screened the Tacoma and the narcotics detector dog alerted inside of the passenger compartment. Officers continued searching and ultimately discovered 83 wrapped packages of methamphetamine and a single package of heroin stashed under the pickup’s back seat, firewall and inside the spare tire.

In total, 97 pounds of methamphetamine, and three pounds of heroin were removed from the vehicle. The combined street value of the narcotics is estimated to be $288,142.

The driver, a resident of Fort Mohave, Ariz., and passenger, a resident of Mohave Valley, Ariz., both of whom are U.S. citizens, were arrested for the alleged narcotics smuggling attempt.

CBP officers discover hard narcotics stashed in two pickups.
CBP officers discover 182 lbs.
of hard narcotics in two pickups.

The second incident occurred at the Calexico East port of entry later the same day, when a CBP officer encountered a 25-year-old male U.S. citizen driving a Ford F-150 pickup. The officer referred both the vehicle and driver for further examination.

Officers scanned the F-150 using the port’s imaging system and detected anomalies in the pickup’s undercarriage and inside the gas tank. After inspecting the area, officers discovered 73 wrapped packages of methamphetamine loaded inside the gas tank. A total of 82 pounds of narcotics was extracted from the gas tank, yielding an approximate street value of $215,046.

The driver, a resident of Somerton, Ariz., was arrested for the alleged narcotics smuggling attempt.

In both incidents, the drivers and passenger were turned over to Homeland Security Investigation agents for further processing, and were later transported to the Imperial County Jail to await arraignment.

CBP seized the narcotics and vehicles.

CBP officers at the border crossings in Southern California routinely stop illegal activity, while processing millions of legitimate travelers into the United States. Those statistics can be found on the CBP Enforcement Statistics webpage.

Last Modified: Mar 28, 2024