CBP Officers Capture Imposter with Felony Warrants

Lawn mower blade area is filled with marijuana.

San Diego — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at San Diego area ports of entry yesterday arrested a wanted man fraudulently using a U.S. passport to enter the country and this morning discovered a man smuggling marijuana inside two lawn mowers.

Lorenzo Muniz, a 23-year-old Mexican male residing in Tijuana, was arrested by CBP officers after he entered the San Ysidro port of entry on foot at about 5:15 a.m. April 7 and presented a valid U.S. passport. The processing officer suspected that the document had been altered and escorted Muniz to a secure area for further investigation.

During the secondary inspection, officers determined that the document did not legally belong to Muniz and that the legal owner’s photo on the passport had been replaced with a photo of Muniz, so he could attempt to enter the U.S. undetected.

CBP officers also discovered Muniz was wanted by the Ventura County Sheriffs Office on three active no-bail dangerous drug warrants.

He is currently being held at the San Diego County Jail.

This morning at about 5:30 a.m., officers at the Otay Mesa border station encountered a

48-year-old Mexican male citizen and resident of Riverside, Calif., as he waited in line for inspection in a 1996 Dodge Dakota. A CBP canine team was screening vehicles in the area when the detector dog alerted to the pickup truck. Officers escorted the driver and vehicle to the secondary area for further investigation.

Officers searched the truck and discovered 21 packages of marijuana weighing 53 pounds stuffed in the blade area of two lawn mowers that were in the bed of the truck.

The man was arrested and transported to the San Diego County Jail. CBP seized the truck and narcotic.

This case comes on the heels of a similar incident on March 30, when officers at the San Ysidro port of entry found 91 pounds of marijuana in two lawn mowers in the back of a 1995 Dodge Dakota pickup truck. The driver, a 21-year-old Mexican male, was arrested.

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.