Imperial Valley CBP Officers Seize More Than $1.2 Million Worth of Methamphetamine, Cocaine
Imperial Valley, Calif. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Imperial Valley ports of entry Wednesday seized a total of about $1.2 million worth of methamphetamine and cocaine after intercepting four alleged smuggling attempts.
The first incident occurred shortly before 5:30 a.m. on Feb. 5, when CBP officers at the Calexico downtown port of entry encountered a male U.S. citizen driving a 2002 BMW X5 with two female. The SUV and occupants were referred for further review.
While conducting an intensive inspection, a CBP officer noticed one of the female passengers, a 42-year-old resident of Indio, California, appeared to be exhibiting signs of nervousness. The officer proceeded to check the woman’s purse and discovered two wrapped packages of crystal methamphetamine hidden inside.
The woman was escorted to a secure area where officers discovered an additional package of crystal methamphetamine concealed in her groin area under layers of clothing.
The narcotics yielded a total weight of approximately 1.8 pounds, with an estimated street value of nearly $35,000.
The woman was arrested and turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents for further processing. The driver and second passenger were both released.
The second incident occurred about 45 minutes later, when a CBP canine team was screening vehicles as they waited in line for inspection at the Calexico downtown port of entry. The detector dog alerted to a 1984 Toyota pickup, and the vehicle and driver were escorted to a secure area for further inspection.
CBP officers utilized a density meter and detected anomalies along the bed of the truck. Officers continued searching and ultimately discovered 20 wrapped packages of cocaine stored in a hidden compartment built into the sides of the truck bed.
A total of more than 52 pounds of cocaine was removed from the pickup, worth an estimated street value of more than half a million dollars.
The driver, a 35-year-old male Cuban citizen and resident of Mexicali, Baja California, was arrested and turned over to the custody of HSI agents for further processing.
The third incident occurred later in the evening, at about 9:10 p.m., when a CBP officer at the Andrade port of entry referred a 46-year-old male driving a 2001 Mercury Grand Marquis for further examination.
A CBP canine team screened the vehicle and the detector dog alerted to the interior, leading officers to the discovery of 17 wrapped packages of methamphetamine concealed inside a compartment built into the dashboard.
The narcotics yielded a total weight of more than 18 pounds, with an estimated street value of nearly $348,000.
The driver, a U.S. citizen and resident of Dallas, Texas, was arrested and turned over to the custody of HSI agents.
The fourth incident also occurred shortly after 9:00 p.m., when a 20-year-old male U.S. citizen arrived at the Calexico downtown port of entry driving a 2002 Nissan Sentra. A CBP officer discovered abnormalities with the rear seats of the vehicle and, following an alert from a CBP detector dog, escorted the driver to a secure area for further investigation.
During an intensive search, officers discovered 10 wrapped packages containing almost 19 pounds of methamphetamine concealed inside a metal box built into rear seats of the vehicle.
The narcotics have an estimated street value of $362,000.
The driver, a resident of Perris, California, was arrested and turned over to the custody of HSI agents for further processing.
In all cases, the subjects were transported to the Imperial County Jail to await arraignment.
CBP seized the vehicles and narcotics.
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.