From the daily archives: Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Calexico, Calif. – U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Interstate 8 checkpoint east of Calexico, Calif. seized methamphetamine and cocaine on Monday valued at over $1 million.

At approximately 9:45 a.m., a gold truck driven by a 21 year-old male U.S. citizen approached the primary inspection area of the Interstate 8 checkpoint. During a cursory search, a Border Patrol canine team alerted to the vehicle and agents referred the driver to the secondary inspection area. During the search, agents uncovered a hidden compartment in the front passenger side wheel well area. The aftermarket compartment contained several packages of methamphetamine and cocaine.

The combined seizure of methamphetamine and cocaine were valued at well over $1 million.

The driver, narcotics and vehicle were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.


Tecate, Calif. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Tecate port of entry Thursday stopped a mom from Campo, Calif., with 50 pounds of cocaine in her spare tire and her four kids in the car.

At about 8 a.m., the 33-year-old female U.S. citizen drove her 2004 Chevy Trailblazer to the border crossing with her four children with her in the car: her 8-year-old daughter, her 9-year-old son, her 12-year-old son, and her 18-year-old daughter.

Package of cocaine concealed in spare tire.

A CBP officer roving with a narcotic detector dog through the lanes of traffic waiting in line at the border crossing screened the vehicle. The canine alerted to the spare tire, bolted underneath the sport utility vehicle.

Another CBP officer took a reading of the tire’s density, and confirmed that there were anomalies with the spare tire.

CBP officers escorted the vehicle and occupants aside for further inspection. A CBP officer cut open the spare tire, and discovered 14 packages wrapped in duct tape hidden inside. The packages contained about 50 pounds of cocaine, worth an estimated $500,000.

CBP officers seized the vehicle and narcotics, and turned the driver over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. She was booked in the San Diego Metropolitan Correction Center. The 18-year-old daughter was turned over to ICE agents and released. The three younger children were turned over to Child Protective Services.


Marijuana has estimated value of more than $86,000

LUKEVILLE, Ariz. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Lukeville Port of Entry in Arizona prevented more than 100 pounds of marijuana with an estimated value of more than $86,000 from entering the country on Dec. 12.

At approximately 2:27 p.m. a CBP officer referred a 50-year-old man, a U.S. citizen from Phoenix, driving a blue 2002 Dodge Caravan for a secondary inspection after observing suspicious behavior. Once in the inspection area, a narcotics detector dog alerted to the rear area of the van. During a more thorough inspection a bundle was discovered concealed within a panel. A subsequent non-intrusive inspection revealed more packages concealed in the side quarter panel, seats and doors. A total of 90 packages of marijuana weighing 101.54 pounds with an estimated value of approximately $86,309 were removed from the vehicle.

“This seizure is a good example of how effective the right mix of manpower and technology can be,” said Port Director Rick Gill. “The combination of experienced CBP officers, keen canines and modern technology has once again contributed to keeping our communities safe.”

The vehicle and narcotics were seized by CBP and the subject was arrested and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for prosecution.

A criminal complaint is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt.  An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt

The Office of Field Operations is responsible for securing our borders at the ports of entry.  U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers’ primary mission is anti-terrorism; they screen all people, vehicles, and goods entering the United States, while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel into and out of the United States.   Their mission also includes carrying out traditional border-related responsibilities, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration law, protecting the nation’s food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases, and enforcing trade laws.

While anti-terrorism is the primary mission of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the inspection process at the ports of entry associated with this mission results in impressive numbers of enforcement actions in all categories.

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 official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

Ninety packages of marijuana weighing 101.54 pounds with an estimated value of approximately $86,309 were removed from several locations inside a blue 2002 Dodge Caravan driven by a 50-year-old man who is a U.S. citizen from Phoenix. (Photo Courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

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