U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at ports of entry along the California/Mexico border seized 1,350 pounds of narcotics valued at $3.2 million and captured 11 fugitives over the weekend.
From 6 a.m. on Friday through 6 a.m. on Monday, CBP officers at the six land ports of entry intercepted 24 smuggling attempts involving marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine. The drugs were hidden in various areas of vehicles entering the U.S. such as in the gas tank, tires, or quarter panels. Seven of the 24 drug smuggling attempts involved narcotics strapped to the traveler’s bodies.
The largest significant seizure occurred at the San Ysidro port of entry on Friday, May 7 at about 6:30 p.m. after a CBP officer referred a 1989 Jeep Cherokee driven by a 34-year-old woman to the secondary area for a more intensive examination.
The vehicle was processed through the port’s X-ray imaging system which revealed anomalies in the roof of the Cherokee. Officers subsequently discovered a non-factory roof compartment from which they extracted 35 wrapped packages of marijuana weighing 180 pounds and valued at $90,000.
The driver, a Mexican citizen from Tijuana, was arrested and transported to the Las Colinas Detention Facility.
Another significant cocaine interception occurred at the Calexico downtown port on Friday, May 7, at about 6 p.m. CBP officers conducting enforcement operations escorted a
25-year-old female Mexican citizen driving a silver 2010 Dodge Journey to the secondary examination area after a detector dog alert to her vehicle as she waited in line for inspection.
An intensive inspection of the Dodge led officers to the discovery of 26 packages weighing 63 pounds concealed inside both rocker panels of the vehicle. The cocaine has a street value of more than a $500,000.
The driver, a resident of Mexicali, was arrested for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt and transported to the Imperial County Jail pending arraignment.
CBP placed an immigration hold on the female to initiate removal from the United States at the conclusion of her criminal proceedings.
In all 24 narcotic cases, CBP seized the vehicle and narcotics.
Over the three day period, CBP officers captured 11 individuals wanted on outstanding felony warrants for such crimes as larceny, identity theft, dangerous drugs, and parole violations.