San Ysidro, Calif. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers arrested a 22-year-old Chula Vista man after they found 112 pounds of marijuana hidden in a big screen TV in the cargo area of the vehicle he was driving as he entered the U.S. Tuesday evening.
CBP officers encountered the driver, a U.S. citizen, as he waited in line for inspection at the San Ysidro border station driving a 1998 Ford Windstar.
A canine team was screening waiting vehicles when a detector dog alerted to the minivan. Officers escorted the vehicle and driver to the secondary inspection area for a more in-depth examination.
During the secondary examination officers ran the vehicle through the port's X-ray imaging system which revealed anomalies within the large screen TV. Officers extracted 36 cellophane wrapped packages that field-tested positive for marijuana.
The marijuana has a street value of $56,155.
The driver was turned over to the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and transported to the San Diego County jail to await arraignment for the foiled smuggling attempt. CBP seized the vehicle 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.