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San Diego CBP Officers Squash Attempt to Smuggle Marijuana and Intercept $1.3 Million Worth of Heroin

Release Date: 
November 20, 2013

San Diego — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at San Diego ports of entry Monday seized $1.3 million worth of heroin and uncovered 369 pounds of marijuana concealed inside a shipment of squash during two separate incidents.

The first incident occurred Nov. 19, shortly before 6:30 p.m., when a CBP officer at the San Ysidro port of entry referred the driver of a 1991 Chevrolet Silverado pickup for a more in-depth examination.

During an intensive inspection that included the use of the port’s imaging system and an alert from a detector dog, officers discovered 24 wrapped packages of heroin concealed inside a hidden compartment built into the wheels of the vehicle.

The total weight of the heroin was approximately 93 pounds.

The driver, a 46-year-old Mexican citizen and resident of San Diego, was arrested for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt and turned over to HSI agents for further processing. 

The second incident occurred at about 10:00 a.m. when officers at the Otay Mesa commercial facility encountered a 2002 Freightliner tractor-trailer that entered the cargo facility carrying a manifested shipment of squash.  Officers referred the truck to the dock area for a more in-depth examination.

While conducting an intensive inspection of the conveyance, CBP officers utilized the port’s imaging system and detected anomalies within the cardboard boxes of produce.  Officers searched the boxes and discovered 37 wrapped packages of marijuana hidden among the squash.  The marijuana has an estimated street value of $221,400.

The driver, a 29-year-old Mexican citizen and resident of Ensenada, Baja California, was turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) agents for further processing. CBP seized the narcotics and vehicles.

Last modified: 
February 3, 2021