San Diego — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at San Diego area border stations from 6 a.m. on Friday through 6 a.m. today, confiscated just over 2,900 pounds of narcotics valued at $2.2 million and rescued two smuggled people hidden in a compartment in a vehicle.
On Saturday just after midnight, a CBP officer working at the Otay Mesa passenger port referred a 26-year-old woman driving a black 1997 Mercedes Benz to the secondary lot for further inspection.
During the secondary inspection, a detector dog alerted to the fender area of the vehicle. Officers investigated the area and located a compartment between the engine and both side quarter panels. After removing the quarter panel, officers discovered a 39-year-old man in fetal position who was unable to move. Officers safely removed the man; he was sweating profusely and needed help standing.
The opposite side quarter panel was removed exposing a 26-year-old woman, also in fetal position, who was unresponsive. Officers immediately removed her from the compartment and a CBP officer trained as Medical First Responders gave her medical attention and attended to a four inch burn on her right leg.
The driver, a U.S. citizen from Santa Ana, Calif., was arrested and booked into the Metropolitan Correctional Center to await arraignment for the failed smuggling attempt. CBP seized the vehicle. The two illegal aliens, both citizens of Mexico were held as material witnesses in the prosecution case.
On Sunday, March 14, at 2:30 p.m., officers at the San Ysidro port of entry discovered 1,323 pounds of marijuana in a trailer pulled by the a Ford F-150 after a detector dog alerted to the trailer. The driver, a 56-year-old U.S. citizen man from Artesia, Calif., was waiting in line to be inspected when a CBP officer utilized a detector dog to screen the vehicle.
Officers subsequently extracted 64 wrapped packages of marijuana from the front wall of the trailer. The driver was arrested and transported to the Metropolitan Correctional Center. CBP seized the conveyance and narcotics.
On Saturday at the San Ysidro border station a CBP officer encountered a 46-year-old San Diego man at about 11:30 p.m., as he waited in line to enter the United States driving a white Ford F-150. The officer conducted an inspection of the truck’s bed, which contained a stack of plywood sheets. When the officer lifted several of the sheets, he discovered packages in a wooden compartment disguised to look like stacked plywood sheets.
In the secondary inspection area, officers extracted 54 packages of marijuana weighing 558 pounds. The driver, a citizen of Mexico and resident of San Diego, was arrested and transported to the San Diego County jail. CBP seized the truck and marijuana.