Bundles hidden in car's secret compartment
PRESIDIO, Texas -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers working at the Presidio port of entry seized 15.6 pounds of methamphetamine Friday afternoon. The drugs were concealed within the firewall area of a 2002 Chevrolet Malibu. The estimated street value of the seized contraband is $499,200.
“This seizure is a result of the use of technology and excellent CBP officer observational skills,” said John Deputy, CBP Presidio port director.
The seizure was made at approximately 1 p.m. Sept. 5 when a lone female driver applied for entry at the primary inspection station. A CBP officer noted a number of issues during the primary exam.
The vehicle and driver were referred to secondary for a detailed examination. The vehicle was scanned with a VACIS x-ray system. CBP officers spotted anomalies in the passenger side firewall of the vehicle. A closer examination revealed a trap door leading to a non-factory compartment within the firewall containing seven methamphetamine-filled bundles.
CBP officers took custody of the woman, 43-year-old Maria Lourdes Salinas de Garcia, a citizen of Mexico. She was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations agents in connection with the failed smuggling attempt.
While anti-terrorism is the primary mission of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the inspection process at the ports of entry associated with this mission results in impressive numbers of enforcement actions in all categories.
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.