CALEXICO, Calif. —Wednesday, approximately 20 miles west of downtown Calexico, U.S. Border Patrols agents assigned to the El Centro Station seized a 1997 Ford Expedition and more than 1,100 pounds of marijuana from a failed drug smuggling attempt in the Calexico west desert.
The incident occurred at around 9:05 p.m., when camera operators located a breach in barricades located in United States/Mexico International Boundary. The camera operators continued to scan the area and discovered two vehicles traveling north from the barricades. A Ford Expedition stopped and two men exited the vehicle and fled the area. The second vehicle absconded back to Mexico.
Agents tracked the footprints of the fleeing two men and were able to apprehend a 43-year-old Mexican citizen. The second person evaded apprehension and made it back to Mexico.
A Border Patrol canine detection team conducted a search on the Ford and surrounding area that produced an alert for the presence of narcotics. Agents soon discovered large bundles of marijuana wrapped in plastic inside the vehicle and scattered about the desert floor.
El Centro Sector Border Patrol Chief Patrol Agent Carla L. Provost said, “This drug interdiction and arrest of suspected smugglers is in direct support of the Border Patrol's National Strategy, to protect the external boundaries of the United States to prevent, detect, apprehend, and interdict terrorists, illegal aliens, smugglers, contraband, and violators of our laws.”
Agents seized a total of 139 bundles of marijuana with a combined weight of 1,100.6 pounds with an estimated street value of $660,360.
U.S. Border Patrol agents turned the man, vehicle, and marijuana over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation.
Last fiscal year, El Centro Sector seized more than 5,700 pounds of marijuana.
The El Centro Sector’s Community Awareness Campaign is a simple and effective program to raise public awareness on the indicators of crime and other threats. We encourage public and private sector employees to remain vigilant and play a key role in keeping our country safe. Please report any suspicious activity to the Border Community Threat Hotline at 1-800-901-2003.
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.