CBP Officers Thwarted Three Smuggling Attempts in 24 Hours
San Diego - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the port of San Ysidro yesterday thwarted three attempts to smuggle various drugs and people into the United States.
The first attempt was on September 29 at 10 a.m. when a 24-year-old Mexican citizen male driving a 1997 Jeep Cherokee arrived to the inspection booth. The officer noticed the driver was nervous and referred him and the vehicle for further inspection.
While the jeep was in line to be x-rayed, a narcotic detector dog alerted to the scent of narcotics emanating from the tires of the vehicle. The Jeep was x-rayed and officers discovered that all five tires were stuffed full of drugs. CBP officers pulled out 33 packages that contained 180 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of $90,000.
CBP officers arrested the driver and turned him over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents for further processing. CBP placed an immigration hold on the subject to initiate removal from the U.S. at the conclusion of his criminal proceedings.
Later that day at 1:20 p.m. a 23-year-old U.S. citizen female from San Diego arrived to the inspection booth, the officer conducted an inspection of her vehicle and referred her and the 1993 Dodge Grand Caravan for further investigation. Officers discovered two illegal aliens hidden in a specially made sheet metal compartment affixed to the undercarriage of the vehicle.
Of the two illegal aliens, one was a 24-year-old Mexican female who was two months pregnant and the other one was a 23-year-old Mexican male. The female was turned over to the Mexican Consulate for repatriation. The male was held as a material witness. The U.S. citizen female driver was arrested and is awaiting arraignment at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in San Diego.
"People risk their lives and the lives of their unborn children in dangerous attempts at crossing the border. I am glad my officers intercepted the smuggling attempt before these individuals were injured," said Pete Flores Acting Director of Field Operations. "Sometimes the consequences of these attempts could result in tragedy."
The same day at 3:40 p.m., a CBP narcotic detector dog team was screening travelers in the pedestrian entrance, and alerted to the scent of narcotics emanating from a 69-year-old U.S. citizen male from Bell Gardens, Calif.
Officers then escorted the man for further inspection where they discovered one package hidden inside a girdle attached to his abdomen. The package contained heroin and it weighed 2.38 pounds. The street value of the heroin is estimated to be $33,320. CBP officers arrested the man and turned him over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents for processing.
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.