OTAY MESA, Calif. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Otay Mesa port of entry Wednesday arrested a SENTRI participant after they discovered more 65 pounds of cocaine hidden in the vehicle she was driving.
On May 21, at about 11:30 a.m., a 21-year-old woman driving a 1995 Ford Explored entered the port of entry for inspection, through a dedicated SENTRI vehicle lane. A CBP officer inspected the vehicle and noticed a discrepancy with the rear cargo area. He pried open the inside quarter panel and discovered wrapped packages. The woman and vehicle were escorted for further investigation.
CBP officers searched the vehicle and extracted 12 packages from the inside right rear quarter panel, four packages from the driver side rear door, and four packages from the passenger side rear door. CBP officers extracted a total of 20 packages that field-tested positive for cocaine, valued at almost $826,000.
The woman, a Mexican citizen from Tijuana, Mexico, was arrested and booked into the Metropolitan Correctional Center.
CBP officers seized the vehicle and cocaine.
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.