San Diego - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at San Diego area ports of entry over the weekend discovered 510 pounds of marijuana in ceramic tile and 35 pounds of cocaine in the engine of a semi-truck.
"The cartels constantly attempt to thwart our efforts of discovering narcotics by utilizing deeper concealments and unusual methods," said Director of Field Operations in San Diego, Chris Maston. "Demonstrated by these two seizures, San Diego Field Office CBP officers are up for the challenge."
On Friday, March 30 at about 3 a.m. at the San Ysidro port of entry, CBP officers encountered a 37-year-old male U.S. citizen driving a Ford F-150 hauling boxes of tile in the bed of the truck. The driver and vehicle were pulled aside for a more in-depth investigation.
A CBP canine team screened the pick-up and the canine alerted to the tiles. A CBP officer picked up one of the boxes and discovered a wrapped package within a hollowed-out box of tiles. Officers subsequently extracted 81 wrapped packages of marijuana weighing 510 pounds, with a street value of about $306,000.
Also on Friday at about 3:30 p.m. at the Otay Mesa Cargo Facility, CBP officers referred the 38-year-old driver of a 1995 Peterbilt tractor pulling a trailer with cargo manifested as pebble, for a more intensive examination.
CBP officers inspected the tractor and discovered anomalies within the engine compartment. After a thorough inspection of the engine area, officers discovered 15 wrapped packages of cocaine valued at $350,000.
CBP officers seized the marijuana, cocaine, and both conveyances. Both drivers were arrested and transported to the Metropolitan Correctional Center.
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.