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CBP in San Diego Finds More Than 950 Pounds of Narcotics in Vehicles

Release Date: 
July 26, 2011

San Diego - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the California land border crossings entry over the weekend found narcotics hidden in vehicle dashboards, gas tanks, secret compartments, spare tires, tail gates, and other locations, stopping more than 950 pounds of narcotics, with an estimated street value of more than $1.7 million, at the border.

Marijuana hidden inside a gas tank.

"We know that drug trafficking organizations will try to conceal narcotics anywhere they think is hidden and inaccessible," said Chris Maston, director of field operations for CBP in San Diego. "CBP officers are extremely well-trained and use the tools at their disposal to ensure that we find illegal contraband, no matter where it might be hidden."

Below are details from select incidents that took place over the weekend.

At about 3:15 a.m. on Friday, July 22, a 37-year-old male Mexican citizen driving a blue 1988 Mitsubishi pickup truck arrived at the San Ysidro port of entry. The CBP officer referred the vehicle and driver for a more intensive screening; CBP officers screened the vehicle with an imaging device, similar to an x-ray, and detected anomalies with the pickup. CBP officers examined the vehicle and found 64 packages of marijuana, weighing a total of about 106 pounds, hidden in the sides of the truck bed, in the tail gate, and in the vehicle quarter panels.

At about 6:00 a.m. Friday, July 22, a 42-year-old male Mexican citizen drove a gray 1994 Ford Aerostar to the San Ysidro port of entry. The CBP officer referred the driver and vehicle for an intensive inspection. A CBP officer with a narcotic detector dog screened the vehicle, and the canine alerted. CBP officers found eight packages of marijuana, weighing a total of eight pounds, hidden on top of the spare tire, which was suspended in its normal location under the vehicle.

At about 3 p.m. on Friday, July 22, a 28-year-old male U.S. citizen driving a 1996 Ford Explorer arrived at the San Ysidro port of entry. While the driver was waiting in the lanes of traffic to approach the inspection booth, a CBP officer with a narcotic detector dog screened the vehicle, and the canine alerted. CBP officers inspected the vehicle and found 19 packages of methamphetamine hidden under the floor of the vehicle, weighing about 27 pounds.

Marijuana found in a spare tire.

At about 3:15 p.m. on Friday, July 22, a 19-year-old female U.S. citizen driving a 1994 Nissan Maxima arrived at the San Ysidro border crossing. While the driver was talking with the CBP officer during her inspection, a CBP officer with a narcotic detector dog screened the vehicle, and the canine alerted. Upon conducting a further inspection, CBP officers found eight packages of marijuana, weighing almost 13 pounds, hidden inside the vehicle's dashboard.

At about 5:30 p.m. on Friday, July 25, a 28-year-old female U.S. citizen driving a silver 2001 Mitsubishi Montero arrived at the San Ysidro port of entry. The CBP officer referred the vehicle and driver for a more intensive screening, and CBP officers screened the vehicle with an imaging device, similar to an x-ray, and detected anomalies in the spare tire. A CBP officer with a narcotic detector dog also screened the vehicle, and the canine alerted. CBP officer removed 17 packages of marijuana, weighing a total of almost 85 pounds, from the spare tire.

At about 9:30 p.m. on Friday, July 22, a 22-year-old male U.S. citizen driving a silver 1999 Dodge Intrepid arrived at the San Ysidro port of entry. While the driver was waiting in the lanes of traffic to approach the inspection booth, a CBP officer with a narcotic detector dog screened the vehicle, and the canine alerted. CBP officers screened the vehicle with an imaging device, similar to an x-ray, and noticed anomalies behind the back seat of the vehicle. CBP officers removed the vehicle's back seat and discovered a compartment with 14 packages of marijuana, weighing about 37 pounds total, hidden inside.

At about 5 p.m. Sunday, July 24, a 44-year-old male U.S. citizen driving a 2004 Chevy Silverado arrived at the border crossing in downtown Calexico. The CBP officer noted that the driver appeared nervous, and when inspecting the vehicle, tapped the gas tank and found it to be suspicious. CBP officers examined the vehicle further, including screening the vehicle with a narcotic detector dog, which alerted to the vehicle. CBP officers discovered 69 vacuum-sealed packages of marijuana hidden in the gas tank, weighing a total of about 155 pounds.

In each incident, CBP officers seized the vehicle and narcotics, and turned the driver over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017