San Diego/Imperial County CBP Officers Seize Almost $5.2 Million of Narcotics Over Weekend
San Diego, Calif. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at ports of entry along the California/Mexico border over the weekend seized approximately 685 pounds of narcotics valued at almost $5.2 million and captured 17 fugitives.
The first seizure occurred on Friday, October 19, at about 6:30 a.m., at the San Ysidro port of entry when a CBP officer referred the driver of a white 2004 Ford Mustang for further examination.
CBP officers conducted an intensive examination on the vehicle that led them to the discovery of 18 wrapped packages of cocaine hidden underneath the rear bumper. The weight of the cocaine was 46 pounds with a street value of approximately $506,000.
CBP officers turned the driver, a 22-year-old female U.S. citizen and resident of San Diego, Calif. over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents for further processing.
The second seizure occurred eight hours later at the Calexico downtown port of entry when a canine team screening vehicles and travelers alerted to a grey 2011 Ford F-150 pick-up truck as the driver waited in line for inspection. Both vehicle and driver were referred for further examination.
Officers conducted an intensive inspection on the vehicle that revealed anomalies to the dashboard. Further search resulted in the discovery of 20 wrapped packages of cocaine concealed inside the dashboard. The weight of the narcotic was 43 pounds with a street value of approximately $516,000.
The driver, a 62-year-old male Mexican citizen and resident of Imperial, Calif. was turned over to the custody of ICE agents for further processing.
The third seizure occurred on Saturday, October 20, at about 9:30 a.m., at the Otay Mesa port of entry when a CBP officer referred a 38-year-old male Mexican citizen driving a white 2007 Mazda 5 for further examination.
CBP officers conducted an intensive inspection that included a canine screening and use of X-ray equipment. The inspection led officers to the discovery of 21 wrapped packages of heroin and methamphetamine co-mingled inside a non-factory compartment within the undercarriage of the vehicle. The combined weight of the narcotics was 62 pounds with a combined street value of approximately $952,000.
The driver, a resident of Tijuana, Baja California, was arrested for the suspected narcotic smuggling and turned over to ICE agents for further processing.
The fourth seizure occurred yesterday, Sunday, October 21, at about 3:40 p.m., at the Calexico downtown port of entry when a CBP officer conducting inspections of vehicles and travelers referred a 22-year-old male U.S. citizen driving a tan 2002 Hyundai GX30 to secondary after detecting signs of nervousness during the interview.
CBP officers conducted an intensive inspection that included a canine screening on the vehicle. The search led officers to the discovery of seven wrapped packages of cocaine, seven wrapped packages of brown heroin and two wrapped packages of black tar heroin concealed inside the wooden frames of a wicker basket that was located inside the trunk of the vehicle. The combined weight of the narcotics was approximately 11 pounds with a street value of approximately $130,560.
The driver, a resident of Palo Alto, Calif., was arrested for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt and turned over to ICE agents for further processing.
In all four incidents, the drivers were transported to local jail facilities where they await arraignment.
CBP seized the narcotics and vehicles.
CBP officers also captured 17 individuals wanted on outstanding felony warrants for such crimes as larceny, burglary, dangerous drugs, and parole violations.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations is responsible for securing our borders at the ports of entry. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers' primary mission is anti-terrorism; screening all people, vehicles, and goods entering the United States, while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel into and out of the United States. Our mission also includes carrying out traditional border-related responsibilities, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration and trade laws, protecting our nation's food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases.
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.