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CNB CRIME "CBP Officers Seize more than $4.5 Million of Narcotics over Weekend

press release June 30, 2015

SAN DIEGO — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at ports of entry along the California/Mexico border over the weekend intercepted 864 pounds of narcotics valued at more than $4.5 million.

CBP officers at the six land ports of entry intercepted attempts to smuggle approximately 507 pounds of marijuana, 185 pounds of methamphetamine, 114 pounds of cocaine, and 58 pounds of heroin concealed in various areas of vehicles such as gas tanks, tires, seats, in a roof, and inside a dashboard.

Two enforcement actions are highlighted below:

Shortly after before 5 a.m., June 27, CBP officers encountered a 43-year-old male Mexican citizen after he arrived at the Calexico downtown port of entry driving a 1994 Grand Marquis.  Officers referred the vehicle and driver for further review. 

During an intensive inspection, officers utilized the port’s imaging system and detected anomalies in the rear of the vehicle.  Officers searched the area and discovered 12 wrapped packages of methamphetamine in a hidden compartment built underneath the vehicle’s trunk.Part of the drugs seized during the weekend.

The methamphetamine yielded a total weight of more than 13 pounds, with an estimated street value of $217,000.

The driver, a resident of Mexicali, Baja California, was arrested and turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents for further processing.  He was later transported to the Imperial County Jail to await criminal arraignment.

The second incident occurred at about 11:30 a.m., June 28, when a 36-year-old male U.S. citizen entered the Otay Mesa port of entry driving a 2007 Nissan Versa sedan.  A CBP officer noticed discrepancies in the Versa’s floor and escorted the driver and vehicle for a more intensive inspection.

Officers searched the vehicle and discovered a total of 24 wrapped packages hidden inside a secret compartment that had been built into the floor.

Fifteen of the packages field-tested positive as cocaine, seven tested positive as white powder heroin, and two packages tested positive as brown heroin.  The cocaine yielded a total weight of more than 37 pounds and was valued at approximately $600,000.  The white powder and brown heroin yielded a combined weight of 21 pounds, with a total estimated street value of almost $380,000.

The driver, a resident of Valinda, Calif., was arrested and turned over to the custody of HSI agents for further processing.  He was later transported to the Metropolitan Correctional Center to await arraignment.

Officers also captured 15 individuals wanted on outstanding felony warrants for such crimes as robbery, dangerous drugs, assault, and sexual offenses.

CBP officers at the border crossings in Southern California routinely stop illegal activity, while processing millions of legitimate travelers into the United States.  Numbers for fiscal year 2014 can be found here.

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.